When I was about eight or nine years old I remember getting up early on Christmas morning to check out the contents of my Christmas pillow case. That would be stocking to everyone else. As usual, Santa had left a book, a bag of salted peanuts and a few other things I don’t recall—no doubt a pair of socks or undies. The book Santa left this particular year was one called Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton.
Since it was still early I went back to bed, taking my book and my bag of peanuts with me. I opened my new book and started reading, thus beginning my love of mysteries and suspense.
Enid Blyton was a prolific English author who wrote hundreds of children’s books, although most Americans won’t recognize her work. Five on a Treasure Island, written way back in 1942 was the first of 21 Famous Five books. In 2010 Hodder Children’s Books released updated versions of these books, modifying language so the books resonated better with children of the 21st century. Audio and e-versions are now available too. When I saw Five on a Treasure Island on Kindle, nostalgia struck and I had to purchase a copy.
Here is my review:
FIVE ON A TREASURE ISLAND by Enid Blyton
Siblings Julian, Dick and Anne go to Kirrin Bay to stay with their Aunt Fanny, Uncle Quentin and cousin Georgina. They’re looking forward to their holiday at the beach and to meeting their cousin. But they’re in for a surprise. Georgina is rude and refuses to speak with them until they call her George. Gradually the children settle in and get to know each other. The days pass, and they go swimming and explore the small private island in the bay, which belongs to the family. One day there’s a huge storm and that’s where the real adventure begins…
The first thing I noticed when I started reading was the large amount of telling and the head hopping. Cripes! The writer in me drew up with horror. Most stories these days are heavy on dialogue, while this story didn’t have much in the way of dialogue at all. And on top of that, the characters seemed to eat all the time.
That said, you’re probably wondering if I liked anything about this book. Why, yes I did!
Five on a Treasure Island was very easy to read. Despite all the telling and the constantly hungry characters, I didn’t suffer any reluctance to continue reading. Ms. Blyton has written enduring characters that rang true for me. There’s Julian, the oldest, who is the voice of reason and the peacemaker. There’s George, the lonely tomboy, Dick, the brave one who is always hungry, and Anne, the youngest who blurts out secrets when she gets nervous.
A fun trip down memory lane. I enjoyed reacquainting myself with Five on Treasure Island, and I think young readers will enjoy reading this book too.
Purchase Five on a Treasure Island
Can you remember reading your first mystery? What books have influenced you and put you on the trail of murder and mayhem?
Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand with her husband and a naughty puppy. She writes romance for Carina Press, Ellora's Cave and Samhain Publishing and just can't help adding dead bodies to her stories. To learn more about Shelley and her books visit her website at http://www.shelleymunro.com