The Famous Five by Enid Blyton
by Maha Huneidi and Hilary Burt (separately)
One of the many Famous Five Books
I was in boarding school when I read the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. I remember that I couldn’t wait for homework time, because we had to sit in the library for two hours whether we’d finished homework or not, so I got to read my precious books after homework… sometimes even before!
I just loved the smell of the old library and being among all those old books.
I must admit that I started with the Secret Seven series
, but it’s faded in my memory. When I finished the series I began reading The Famous Five
Forty five years later, I still remember one character vividly. I was immediately captivated by the character of George.
Don’t get me wrong: I loved all four characters, as well as Timothy the dog. They complemented each other, but my absolute favorite was definitely George. I loved her independence, courage, dignity, defiance and vulnerability. I liked to imagine that I was like her!
Those books were my respite from the confinement of boarding school and I longed to be transported into the adventures of George, her cousins Anne, Dick and Julian, and Timmy.Maha Huneidi is a self published author of the children’s picture book, When Monsters Get Lonely. She is a certified meditation and yoga instructor and the creator of the website Empowerment and Kids.
Browse Famous Five books
I grew up on the Famous Five
by Enid Blyton, devouring each book as though the characters were close personal friends and identifying with the tomboy character, George.
I loved those stories and wanted to be part of every single adventure. Plus, icing on the cake, there was a dog, Timmy, who accompanied the children and protected them on their adventures.
I realise now, as a teacher, how limited these books are - the language, plot development, etc. - but for me they got me reading and enabled me to practise over and over again the high frequency words that most of our language is based on. I also learned how magical books can be.
These aren’t sophisticated novels, but they’re accessible and straightforward with no tricky bits to stumble over.
I am now a teacher and passionate about helping people improve their literacy. I say, whatever works - comics, children’s newspapers, novels, poetry . . . bring it on! Hilary Burt writes the website Spelling Help Online, aimed at helping children and adults with their reading and spelling. There is a focus on dyslexia, and technology that helps, as well as free downloadable word searches. She is a private literacy tutor in the south of England.