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The Famous Fives series of adventure books were written by Enid Blyton and published between 1942 and 1963.
The Five of the title are three siblings Julian, Dick and sister Anne Kirrin and their tomboy cousin Georgina together with her pet dog Timmy.
These are middle class children whose families have cooks and who attend boarding schools and holiday abroad and ski.
Each story involves the five meeting up during school holidays and being allowed to go off on their own without adults on some pretext - t is then the mystery and adventures begin.
This story involves the Five going to stay at Finniston Farm which is supposed to be in Dorset - this farm was modelled on one that Edid Blyton actually lived in.
The farmer is forced to take in paying guests as the farm is short of money. He has twins and also staying there is an obnoxious American boy and his father. It turns out the father is into buying old British relics and shipping them back to the States.
The name Finniston is also connected with a long since disappeared castle - supposedly ion the farm land.
The American also hears this tale and tries to find the castle - but after so many years will there be anything left to find?
This book Five on Finniston Farm was published in 1959 and is the 18th book in the Famous Five series. The series only ran for 21 books so I am coming towards the end of the series now.
From having what I thought of as an uninspiring title I found this the most enjoyable read so far.
We begin with the boys cycling along hot country lanes - they meet the girls and Timmy off the bus and then make their way up to the large old farmhouse called Finniston.
At the farm are twins - again these have the tomboy element as they are both called Harries - one is a boy called Henry (which always seems to get changed to Harry) and the other is a girl with short cropped hair called Henrietta.
Also staying on the farm are a horrid spoilt American boy called Junior together with his Pop. The contrast between this spoilt and rude boy and the well mannered Kirrin children is very noticeable. Even though the four Kirrin children have a well to do background and go to private schools they are always well mannered and polite and are eager to help - the two boys Julian and Dick are even happy to have camp beds in the barn.
There are again lovely descriptions of the rolling farmland and poppy lined lanes.
Anne it emerges is interested in history and visits a little antique shop in the village - owned by an old man called Finniston. It seems his family used to own a castle that stood on the farm - but it burnt down many centuries ago and now no trace remains - apart for one building now used as a bar which used to be an old chapel.
The farmer and his family are very short of money and cannot afford to buy new tractors etc so that is why they take in paying guests - but the obnoxious Americans want to buy all the old relics they can find - much to the annoyance of the great grandfather - who, although shouting a lot, definitely speaks the truth.
On hearing of the lost castle the Five plus the twins wonder if they can find the remains - but the American pays to have rights to dig in a certain place to see if the castle is there - on a mound - now how obvious is that!
I like the historical part of this story - looking for old ruins, hearing tales of lost storerooms and possibly buried treasure.
Who will find anything first - the mercenary American or the children? Well its with a little avian help that the children find their next clue - and then it is excitement all the way.
This is a fast paced story and is funny in parts too - the the children having to avoid the awful American boy - and with George and Timmy teaching him a lesson for being so lazy.
Of course lots of talk is of full tables and scrumptious food - all helped b the children who assist with preparation and clearing away. Dick and Julian also help the twins with chores around the farm -- definitely nice well brought kids you would be pleased to have around.
As always things work our fine in the end - and great grandfather gets a new lease of life with all the excitement.
One of the best tales I found and which incorporates all the things you expect from a Famous Five story - secret buildings, lost treasure and searching for tunnels. Also some humorous and also lots of good descriptions of nature and also mouth watering food.
Some elements may seem repetitive - the twins, girls wanting to be called boys, an American and his child, lost treasure and a secret tunnel - but these are elements that go to make up a Famous Five story and being aimed at children I think this one really fits the bill.
Five On On Finniston Farm is the 18th in the series of 21 books by Enid Blyton featuring the Famous Five. Many view the books as the best children's literature ever, and they are incredibly popular, and have been since their original publications in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. I agree with this viewpoint as they were my favourite books as a child and I still read them now from time to time.
The Famous Five are Julian, Dick and Anne Kirrin, their cousin George (Georgina) Kirrin and her dog Timmy. Five On Finniston Farm sees the Five sent to stay on the farm in the title, and are interested to hear that there used to be a castle in the grounds. When they find out that there are rumoured to be intact dungeons underneath the castle, they are determined to the castle and search the dungeons, especially as the owners of the farm are falling on hard times and are treated roughly by the aying Americna guests with them. However, the Five are not the only ones looking for the treasure.............
The book is a slight return to the treasure seeking idea behind many of Blyton's earlier Famous Five books, and it is this type of book from her that I find fits the mould better. The previous few books went a little wayward in quality and plot, but this wades in strongly and ranks up there with the best of them. The treasure hunting aspect is what I find rather magical about the Five's adventures, and this is a welcome tale. The book has 185 pages, and is easily flowing in terms of writing style, particularly as it is geared towards children.
The book was originally published in 1959. The copy I have was published in 1985, and cost £1.50 at the time. Five On Finniston Farm is available from amazon.co.uk for £3.49.