Title: Five Go to Smuggler’s Top
Author: Enid Blyton
Series: Famous 5
Major Themes: Mystery
Synopsis: After a tree falls on the house, the Famous 5 have to go visit a friend for the holidays and find themselves, as usual, in the middle of a mystery.
Apparently, Enid Blyton’s books have been popular for a long time. I never heard of them until a few years ago, however. I’ve read a few now, and am not overly impressed with them. I just read Five Go to Smuggler’s Top to determine if I want my sons to read it, but I think I’ll be moving this book on to another home, rather than letting them read it.
This story begins with the five friends—two girls, two boys, and a dog—arriving at the home of one of the girls, George (Georgina) for the Easter holidays. During the night, a big tree falls on the house and the children end up being sent to stay with a schoolmate for the holidays. This schoolmate lives in a huge house on Smuggler’s Top. Strange things happen there, and matters come to a head when people start disappearing.
As a mystery, this story is not too bad. No one is hurt; the only violence is a person being gagged and tied up, and the dog biting someone. However, I did not like the attitudes displayed by several characters. Aunt Fanny makes it clear that her husband is irresponsible. George is told she cannot take her dog to Smuggler’s Top, but she lies and schemes a way to take him along. Sooty lies to his father a number of times.
WARNING: As stated in the last paragraph.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12