Welcome to this week’s blog hop. Today’s topic is:
‘What was your favourite young reader novel growing up?’
I don’t even have to think about this one. Back when I was about 9 years of age I told my mother that I didn’t need a babysitter anymore, as I preferred to stay at home on my own in the school holidays when she went to work rather than go to the lady next door who had two rather boisterous sons. To my surprise she agreed for a trial period of one week. Thankfully this was soon extended as she realised I was sensible enough to knock next door if there were any problems (and I suppose she didn’t have to pay our neighbour!).
So on the first day of my new-found freedom I sat on my front doorstep and picked up a hard-backed copy of Enid Blyton’s ‘The Island of Adventure’ which somebody (I cannot remember who) had given to me for my birthday. Mum went off to work and waved goodbye to me as I sat on the step. When she came home 5 hours later I was still sitting there, enthralled in the story and hadn’t even put the book down to eat or drink anything. It was the first book I remember completely immersing myself in, and I recall the feeling of disappointment when I eventually finished it and had to come back to reality. Here’s the details below. The modern cover is different but hey, I read it around 55 years ago!
This book started off a love of reading. I saved up my pocket money, birthday and Christmas monies and bought the whole set of ‘Adventure’ books. I was a frequent visitor to Segal’s book shop along the East India Dock Road, and remember a feeling of excitement when I went through that door and the aroma of new books hit me. I think I eventually read every book that Enid Blyton ever wrote.
Segal’s has long gone. Somebody considered poor Ms Blyton too elitist, altered some of the words she had written, and banned all her books from schools. That is a terrible shame, as children (if adults had not previously stepped in and told them) would not have been offended and would have just enjoyed the story. I read some of the reviews of this book, and many people feel the same way. Whole generations of children will now miss out on absolutely enthralling adventures. I’m glad I read all of them back in the 1960s.
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