CBCA Book Week Challenge: Enid Blyton

August 19, 2012 Ka'ela Ja'el
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Over on her blog, Tansy Rayner Roberts is celebrating the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book Week, and she has challenged people to talk about their childhood reading.

I decided this year I want to do something fun on the blog to celebrate Book Week, as I usually forget about it until it’s too late. So I’m going to write some posts about my childhood reading, not only favourite books, but how I read them and why I still remember them.

So I thought I might try and take up her invitation.

Enid Blyton

For me, Enid Blyton is the obvious place to start when talking about my childhood reading. I can’t remember when I first discovered her, she just always seemed to be *there*, which, given the amount of books she wrote, probably wasn’t a hard thing. And although I was growing out of her by grade five, for the my early and middle primary years, her books probably formed the most substantial part of my literary diet. Not that she was high brow literature, but she entertained me.

I think I kind of started with the various adventure books, wishing I had a family that owned an island on which I could escape and have adventures. My cousins and I would play adventure games where we pretended to be the Terrific Three, since we were two short to be the Five, and we’d spend our school holidays building hiding places under the stairs or in the hedge, and making adventures. But we were better than the FF because we didn’t need boys to take the lead and show us what to do. And then, when I was alone, I would try my hand at writing Famous Five stories. Yes, there it is – I wrote fanfic.

Eventually the time came when I had read all the FF books in the library, (for some reason I never could get into Secret Seven) and then moved into the boarding school series, kicking off with the Naughtiest Girl where I found myself wishing that I could get sent to boarding school, so I could indulge in midnight feasts with lashings of ginger beer, despite the fact that I didn’t like ginger beer at all.

I think though, that my favourites were the various books that involved visits to other lands – The Wishing Chair, and The Faraway Tree particularly, because those books stayed with me. I was reading them at the same time as I was having adventures on Kirren Island, and I continued to re-read them (albeit covertly)  in high school (and beyond) as a comfort thing. As a matter of fact, I still have several of them in my bookshelf now.


Entry Filed under: Reading

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tansy Rayner Roberts (@tansyrr)  |  August 19, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I’m reading the Naughtiest Girl Again to Raeli right now – the first time I tried one of these on her she cried at the very idea of boarding school. The second time I tried, she was intrigued and entertained.

    Two chapters into this one and she’s TOTALLY angling to be sent to one.

  • 2. Ka'ela Ja'el  |  August 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Ha! I think I was the other way around…I loved the idea, but when I realised my dad had done boarding school and only got to go home once every TWO years, I almost cried. I couldn’t even contemplate it after that,

  • 3. littlebitofthyme  |  August 20, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Love Enid Blyton! I’m doing some Book Week posts this week as well.

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