Little Book,  Middle grade

The Secret Seven

Enid Blyton
secret sevenIt’s their very first adventure, and the Secret Seven super-sleuths are already on the trail of some really weird clues. It’s snowing and the Seven are dressed in disguise, following a lead to a spooky old house – and a mystery.
This is the start of the Secret Seven’s adventures. In this story we meet the children for the first time (in this setting) and they solve their first mystery. I loved these books as a child and have been looking for chapter books to engage my 6 1/2 year old daughter, as soon as we started on these she was hooked. In fact not only do we get the usual “can’t I have one more chapter, pleeeeeease” requests she has actually been so excited by them that she has picked them up to read for herself, and has persisted despite the fact that some of it is quite difficult for her to read. It has been such a pleasure to see her start to engage in books for herself in this way.
These books have short chapters (good for us) and even though my daughter finds them very thrilling they do not have the same kind of excitement as the Famous Five, the villains are less rough and there isn’t as much danger to the children. The slightly tamer content suits us well and she is really enjoying all the talk about meetings, passwords, disguises, drinking home made lemonade and keeping everything a secret, especially from Jack’s annoying sister Susie. They are a great introduction to mystery books as the children look for clues and work out how to overcome the various problems they encounter.
As you would expect reading Enid Blyton today there are some things that grate a little (at least as an adult)! The boys get to do things that the girls do not and some attitudes that have changed somewhat, but for me there is nothing too bad in this book, there is far more that is fun and enjoyable. If you read a book written in in the 1940’s it is going to be different – and it certainly isn’t stopping my daughter’s enjoyment of it.
Verdict: So as the Secret Seven go on the trail of thieves and eventually come up trumps this is an adventure book with plenty of action and excitement for a younger reader to listen to or to read themselves.
Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Publication Date: March 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 144
Genre: Mystery
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book

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