Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Merely Mystery Reading Challenge - Five Go Off in a Caravan
The Famous Five (Julian, Dick, Anne, George and faithful Timmy) are on yet another summer holiday (They're always having holidays). This time, they decide to go on a caravan trip and follow the Circus. Of course, it wouldn't be them if they didn't have an adventure along the way.
I think it's quite admirable how independent children were back then. If the Famous Five was supposed to be like the typical English child, then there's no wonder the British Empire was so strong. These children are encouraged to be independent and self-sufficient (really, going on a trip by themselves? And they're not even teenagers!). All this is so different from now, what with the "helicopter moms" and "tiger moms" and "eagle dads".
And interestingly, this book dealt briefly with class issues. The Famous Five are clearly middle-class, but here, they meet Noddy, a circus boy who belongs to the lower class. While the book doesn't go into any details, there is some class differences (which can be seen by how uncomfortable Noddy was with them. And constant references to the Five being "posh"). Of course, this being a more-or-less ideal England (except for the amazing amount of criminals), this uncomfortable feeling quickly disappears due to lack of class consciousness of the Five and they become good friends.
Frankly, the mystery isn't very mysterious. Well, I guess since this is technically an 'adventure' I can't say anything. But I think for those like me (going back down memory lane), I read it more for the characters and the ideal-England (sunny, friendly, etc) than for the plot.
Personally, I love Enid Blyton because she reminds me of my childhood. This is definitely a book for all those homesick for the distant time where we were small(er). If you're much younger, like say, 8, you should definitely read this series. It's not as fast-paced as most YA/Children's fiction nowadays, but it's endearing.
This book was read for the Merely Mystery Reading Challenge and clearly, it is a Cozy mystery.