As a child, I loved Enid Blyton, particularly The Famous Five, but it was a thwarted love that dared not speak its name. Parents, teachers and librarians were united in their disapproval of her works, and conspired to make them unavailable to middle-class children like me.
I managed to read only three or four Famous Fives; I can’t remember how I got my hands on them. Possibly borrowed them from other children, or gulped them down in visits to friends' houses (what an unsatisfactory guest I must have been).
When my daughter started to read, I bought her the lot. She devoured them. When she was older and we were having a clear-out, she began to read… They ended up back on the shelf.
For me, the moment has passed, the magic is gone. I am, alas, too old and cynical to enjoy the books now.
But I there’s one I remember as being especially riveting. I looked it up; it’s Five Fall into Adventure. The Five meet a plucky ragamuffin girl, Jo, whom they mistake for a boy. She’s the baddie’s daughter, but helps the boys rescue George. Chatting on the Youwriteon forum about early loved books, I had a revelation about Jo:
Good God, that’s where Tor came from!
Tor, my heroine in Rising Fire. Five Fall into Adventure went deep into my imagination when I was a child, to emerge all these years later…