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The Famous Five are the titles of a series of 21 books written by Enid Blyton and published between 1942 and 1963.
The Famous Five are siblings Julian, Dick and Anne with the other two being their cousin Georgina (who is a tomboy and insists on being called George) and her pet dog Timmy.
They are quite 'posh' children who all go off to boarding schools but who all get together during the school holidays when they all manage to have marvellous adventures. These escapades are facilitated by the fact that they are allowed to go out and travel and roam without any adult supervision.
This story begins with Anne and George staying at a riding stables near to moorland - which is called Mystery Moor. Later on the girls are joined by Dick and Julian. Also a part of the story this time is a girl called Henry - short for Henrietta.
The five make the acquaintance of Sniffer, a little gypsy boy.
The gypsies travel on the moor a few times a year - but why? And what is the mystery that gives the moor its name?
Of course the children get drawn into night time adventures on the moor - but who will be able to help them get out of a sticky situation?
This is Enid Blyton's 13th book in the Famous Five series and was published in 1954.
The two girls are at some riding stables for their holiday as the boys have been off camping with the school.
There is a little tedious bickering at the beginning - between George and the daughter from the stables - who also likes to be taken for a boy and insists on being called Henry and not Henrietta. This arguing is getting tedious for Anne and Henry's parents.
Once again Enid Blyton paints a lovely rural scene for the backdrop to the children's adventures - talking of the 'fresh green of the budding hawthorn bushes'. Later in the story the two boys join Anne and George.
Nature is mentioned when Anne talks of the smell of the gorse bushes 'being like vanilla, or coconut?'. There is even talk later on of sand martins making holes in a sandy bank n May - so you get a free nature lesson thrown in as well.
The moor near the stables is described as desolate and it eventually runs down to the sea. Some travellers are near the stable in their old horse drawn caravans and go out onto the moor every three months or so. One boy from the traveller's camp comes to the stables as his horse is lame. He is called 'Sniffer' - he cannot even remember his own name as his habit of continually sniffing has given him this nickname.
Enid Blyton provides comic interludes with this Sniffer character as George gives him one of her handkerchiefs to use - but he has never had one before so insists on keeping it in pristine condition and then showing it to George every time they meet!
Something that is interwoven into this story is the inclusion of 'patrins' - signs left by travelling folk to show those who come after then which was they have gone or how many of them were there. Sniffer shows George some of them - sticks and leaves laid out in a certain way to show the direction people have gone.
Sniffer's dad is a really nasty bully and when the horse was not ready to leave for the journey across the moor Sniffer said his dad had half killed him with a beating.
Sniffer has a little circus trained dog called Liz who makes friends with Timmy.
Evidently the stables is reasonably middle class too as they have a bell for supper and the girls have to change into dresses.
Henry and George do not see eye to eye at all as they are both used to getting their own way, so the next day when Henry is going out with the Five George feigns a headache. She is devastated when they take her at her word and go off for the day, leaving her behind. This part of the story then shows how George is upset and disappointed with herself as she really cut off her nose to spite her face, and this would give a good opportunity to discuss how people should give and take a little more and not expect everything their own way. Julian said that George had 'behaved like a sulky little girl'.
It seems the travellers go onto the moor every three months or so, and the children are determined to find out what is going on - also why is it called Mystery Moor? When seeing the old local blacksmith they hear of old strange happenings on the moor - and of mystery mists that spring up and roll in from the sea suddenly.
Some people do not seem to have enjoyed this book as much as the others but we really enjoyed the story.
The children are camping out on the moors, and know of the gypsies location - thanks to being able to follow patrins.
But strange occurrences happen in the night which they can scarcely believe - then one of those sea mists roll in and no one can see anything - what will become of the children?
Thanks to ingenious friends the Five come out safely in the end of course - but thy
ey have a lot of adventures on the way - and some pretty scary too.
Lots of fun for the Five camping out and finding secret things - and of course it all comes good in the end as it always does.
Poor Timmy gets an injuring in the course of the adventure but, strong dog that he is, he soldiers on to help his friends.
I enjoyed the historical nature of some of this adventure, and the addition of patrins and their explanation was also very interesting and could form a basis for some adventure walks of your own.
One thing I would have liked was a bit more about one fo the mysteries surrounding the moor - but then Enid Blyton was writing a children's adventure and not a history book!
Five Go To Mystery Moor is the 13th in a series of 21 books from Enid Blyton featuring the Famous Five. The books are considered some of the best children's books of all time. I am inclined to agree as they were my favourites as a child and I still read them from time to time as an adult.
The Famous Five are Julian, Dick and Anne Kirrin, their cousin George (Georgina) Kirrin and her dog Timmy. Five Go To Mystery Moor see the Five take a more traditional holiday as they all go to stay at a riding school in the moors with a bunch of other school children during the school holidays. The Five encounter a group of gypsies who are keen enough on crossing the moors immediately to stir the Five's curiosity, and when they hear tales from a blacksmith called Old Ben about smuggling and treasure and the feuds between the gypsies and the Bartle family, curiosity turns to adventure as only the Five know how, leading to an exciting end stumbling across the mist covered moors.
This 13th book continues the darker themes from the 12th book, Five Go Down To The Sea, as explorations are made in the dark with very bad weather conditions contributing to the atmosphere of the book. The writing style of the book is definitely geared towards children as it is in essence a children's book, but there is a haunting nature to it that would probably make it one of the least popular of the series of 21. The chapters flow very quickly, and at 190 pages, it is easily readable and took me only a couple of hours last time I gave it a go.
The book was originally published in 1954. The copy I have was published in 1986, and it cost £1.50 at the time. You can get Five Go To Mystery Moor from amazon.co.uk for £3.49.