Classics of adventure and mystery re-launched for 21st century readers
Enid Blyton was born in East Dulwich, South London, in 1897. She wrote over six hundred books in her lifetime, including many of the 20th century's most popular children's series. Some of her best-known works include the Famous Five, the Secret Seven, Malory Towers, The Magic Faraway Tree, The Wishing Tree and Noddy. Enid Blyton died in 1968 but remains one of the world's best-loved storytellers and is consistently voted a children's favourite in reader polls.
Gr 3-6-Peter, Janet, George, Colin, Pam, Jack and Barbara are children who live in a rural English village and belong to a club called The Secret Seven. One morning, Peter and Janet's father reads them a newspaper article about a girl named Elizabeth, from a nearby school, who disappeared after being accused of stealing money from a desk drawer in her classroom. The Seven decide to try to find her. They make a plan of attack at a club meeting, split up, and comb the countryside and interview people looking for clues. When they learn that she loves horses, Peter and Jack check neighborhood stables. Finally one of Elizabeth's classmates confesses to the theft. Eventually the mystery is solved to everyone's satisfaction, and Elizabeth is happily reunited with her family. While British actress Sarah Greene's performance is quite well done, the book by Enid Blyton was written 50 years ago and has such a British slant that American children may have trouble relating to it. Boys and girls play stereotyped gender roles: Janet writes out all the invitations to club meetings and gathers snacks for them, and Peter and Jack do all the exciting interviews and sneak out at night to watch Elizabeth's grandmother's house.-Maura Smith, Somerset Elementary School, Prairie Village, KS Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.