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30 Books in 30 Days - Day 4: Book You Remember From Childhood

Enid Blyton books were a staple for most children (or certainly were for my peers) in the 1980s. We weren't as aware of some of the issues in some of her books as we might have been and we were not such 'modern' children that the idea of allowing four relatively young children to go off on holiday on their own, accompanied only by their dog seemed the height of irresponsibility, rather than an opportunity for adventure. Nor do I remember feeling that the experiences of those who went off to a very middle class boarding school, complete with its midnight feasts, was so far removed from my own working class origins that it seemed like an alien world. Rather, I picked and chose the bits I could relate to my own life, so that when we went on Pack Holiday with Brownies, we talked about the possibility of a midnight feast. I don't ever think we managed to wake up to have one, but the fact that I had to actually stop and think about whether we'd ever experienced it for ourselves, is a mark, I think, of the impact these books had on me as a child. Darrell, Sally and Alicia, along with their St Clares' equivalents, were my friends and their experiences were mine.

Much as I love my boys, my one regret about not having a girl child is that I have no-one to share these books with. I tried with my eldest, but he just wasn't interested and I will try again with the younger one, but I rather suspect he will be the same. I had thought that maybe it was a generation thing rather than a gender issue, but the recent, well-received BBC adaptation of Malory Towers would suggest that it is simply because the books are just not to their taste. And yes, before you ask, I did sit and watch it all on my own!

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