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===Cost and Editions===
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books; New Ed edition (19 Mar 1997)
Full price on Amazon is £5.99 but reduced to £4.49. It can also be picked up very cheaply second hand.
There are many other editions of this book and as well as possibly being able to download a PDF version you can listen to the while thing for free on Youtube as an audio book.
Five On Kirrin Island Again is the sixth novel in the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton.
It was first published in October, 1947.
Siblings Julian, Dick and Anne come to stay at their cousin George's house for their holidays. George's father, a scientist, has decided to take over Kirrin Island for his experiments and banned the children from visiting.
But there is skulduggery at work - who is also on the Island?
Are there spies after Uncle Quentin's secret work?
More secret passageways and hidden tunnels - and George's dog Timmy comes to the rescue.
This is the sixth Famous Five story and was apparently meant to be the last in the series - ending with Kirrin Island just as they started - but in the end they went on and on!
The three siblings and their cousin George are all at boaridng school so this, like the other stories, involves them coming back for the holidays. Journeying down via London on the train to the coastal Kirrin Cottage.
Some people have complained that this story sounds very dated but apart form a few instances I did not find it too bad at all.
Admittedly George's father, who is a famous scientist, and while doing experiemnts cousin Anne asks if his latest experiments on Kirrin Island are to do with making an Atom Bomb.
Also coming down on the train the children have buns and ginger beer in the station cafe - but that is not too out of the way these days either.
Some mention is made of certain items which some children may not know the meaning of today - such as Mackintosh, galoshes and sou'wester - but then that gives you a good opportunity to explain what they are.
This story takes place in the Easter holidays and because Uncle Quentin is doing experiments on Kirrin Island then the children cannot go over to the island as they had planned. The island is owned by the family and the children enjoy visiting there by rowing boat and exploring.
However Quinten's secret experiemnts prove to be of interest to certain people and the children come to his rescue.
Fairly quaint in one place, when Aunt Fanny picks them up from the station in a pony and trap - but even this does not detract from the story or prove to be too much of a distraction.
One other item that today's listeners or readers would find odd is that the children visit someone to watch his TV - as when the book was written in the 1940s they were not a standard feature in everyone's homes as they are today.
One long word is introduced that may baffle some youngsters is heliography - but you can understand it in the context it is spoken about - t is the use of mirrors and sunlight to convey signals.
As usual the five go out exploring - but as they are banned form the island they go to visit a local quarry instead - here they find a dark opening - does it lead anywhere? Timmy the dog finds it interesting.
This story contains a good amount of action and adventure and I do not find the old style of grammar that crops up occasionally to be of any bother.
Personally I think it is quite interesting to listen out for old style references in the text such as telling George after she left some information slip - 'just like a girl, can't help blabbing' and a crying boy was told to 'pull himself together'.
One funny quote is that when George has a shock they think to get her 'brandy' - not normally what children think to give each other!
The scientific breakthrough that Uncle Quentin is making does seem rather simplistic and altruistic -and we never get to see how his discovery works out - but the main part of these books is the adventures and escapades that the children get up to - and that is exciting and just what you could imagine enjoying if you were that age again.
This book held our interest throughout and is just the sort of way I can imagine children would like to be in their holidays - fancy free and with adventures to undertake.
One scary part even involves a gun - but as always the five come out alight in the end and come back home for a good meal - good always triumphs over evil in these stories.
===Would I Recommend?===
===Full Famous Five Series===
Five on a Treasure Island (1942)
Five Go Adventuring Again (1943)
Five Run Away Together (1944)
Five Go to Smuggler's Top (1945)
Five Go Off in a Caravan (1946)
Five on Kirrin Island Again (1947)
Five Go Off to Camp (1948)
Five Get into Trouble (1949)
Five Fall into Adventure (1950)
Five on a Hike Together (1951)
Five Have a Wonderful Time (1952)
Five Go Down to the Sea (1953)
Five Go to Mystery Moor (1954)
Five Have Plenty of Fun (1955)
Five on a Secret Trail (1956)
Five Go to Billycock Hill (1957)
Five Get into a Fix (1958)
Five on Finniston Farm (1959)
Five Go to Demon's Rocks (1960)
Five Have a Mystery to Solve (1962)
Five Are Together Again (1963)
Review of The Famous Five- Five on Kirren Island Again
I am reviewing a paperback version of the novel, ISBN 0340040025, published by Knight Books. This novel was first published in 1947; my copy is a reprint from 1986.
This novel can be sourced from various on line retailers for as little as 0.01p for a used copy (amazon).
Five on Kirren Island Again is an adventure story featuring the Famous Five. For those who do not know, the 'Five' are tom-boy, Georgina, who is known as 'George' and her three cousins, Julian, Dick and Anne. The fifth member is Timmy the dog, George's faithful canine friend.
George's family own Kirren Island, a small island situated opposite Kirren Bay. The island can only be accessed by boat and jagged rocks of the coastline make this a hazardous landing. George and her cousins have spent many happy days picnicking on the island and have even camped overnight on the island, taking shelter in the one solid room left in the ruined Kirren Castle. The castle also has deep and mysterious dungeons and once when staying on the island George and her cousins found a fortune in gold bars hidden in the depths of the dungeons. After this discovery, George's parents financial situation improved no end and they gave her the island for her own.
All the children attend boarding school and generally spend school holidays at Kirren. As the Easter holidays loom, the children are planning their holidays and of course Kirren Island features in their plans. Unfortunately for the children however, George's father, the grumpy, eccentric scientist 'Uncle Quentin' has other ideas. He has moved onto Kirren Island in order to conduct some strange scientific experiments in peace and quiet. The children are banned from the island and have to spend their holidays at Kirren Cottage with George's mother 'Aunt Fanny'.
All is not as it first seems and Uncle Quentin is central to a dangerous adventure, Famous Five style!
The Famous Five series, a set of 21 novels, were written in the 1940s and 50's and they have delighted generations of youngsters. The books are aimed at a reading audience of 8-12 years of age. That said, I read these at a much younger age, as did my own daughter.
Enid Blyton was a prolific writer of children's literature and my childhood reading material was mainly Blyton based. I recently came across an almost complete set of Famous Five books at a charity book sale. I could not resist buying them. I told myself that they are for my 6 year old granddaughter, but I must admit that I am enjoying a trip down memory lane and am re-reading these books myself....I will pass them on, honest!
Five on Kirren Island Again is number 6 in the series. I found this particular novel to be a fast paced adventure and I feel it is ideally suited to the age range Enid Blyton intended the Famous Five for.
As with most Enid Blyton stories there is a strong moral element, the baddies NEVER prosper in the world of the Famous Five. The language used throughout the book is definitely that of an earlier age, the children are a product of mid-20th century middle England. They attend boarding schools; they are always polite, well-mannered and respectful towards adults, unless of course the adults happen to be baddies!
I find it amusing that the adults in the Famous Five books allow the youngsters to basically run wild; they wander off all day with just a packet of sandwiches and a dog for company. They take a rowing boat and cross a treacherous bay, navigating through dangerous rocks without their parents turning a hair, and all is well as long as they are home in time for tea!
I think the Famous Five bring a refreshing dollop of old style charm and manners to our modern world and I have to say I enjoyed reading this novel again. It is true that the children do come over as rather stuck up and pompous in places, but in my opinion, that is half the charm of this book, it is a look into childhood as it used to be.
I hope my granddaughter enjoys the novels too, when I pass them on!
Incidentally, when people speak of the Famous Five they always seem to quote 'lashings of ginger beer'. I have read around 10 of the books in the past week or so and have not come across that phrase yet!
Thank you for reading.
©brittle1906 October 2013
N.B. My reviews may be found on other sites under the same user name.
I'm going to continue to bore you all with the entire Famous Five collection reviewed! It'll be like our perfect little trip down memory lane.
'Five On Kirrin Island Again' explodes onto my Word file at just the right time then! The sixth installment in Enid Blyton's twenty-one book strong collection deciphering the adventures of the Famous Five - Julian, Dick, Georgina [Or George as she demands to be known], Anne and Timothy the dog. The book I believe was originally stated to be the last but due to the success of the series a further 15 found their way into the hearts of the country.
Whilst I had found the last two books to be very interesting this one takes a big step back. For starters we find much of the book focusing around George's parents home of Kirrin Cottage and the surrounding island that belongs to George herself. It's a story that has been told many times before though it's too her credit that Blyton can continue to keep pumping new mysteries and enchanting characters to charm her audience with exciting new locations such as a quarry and new areas to explore on Kirrin Island itself.
One good thing is that we see a lot more of George's parents in this book. In particular her father and the three siblings Uncle Quentin, a scientist with a peculiar and scatterbrained nature. Quentin has took it upon himself to erect a strange and rather wonky tower right in the middle of Kirrin Island and use it to conduct his latest experiments, much to George's displeasure. Blyton always seems to identify with George and her character is always the most entertaining and realistic in terms of personality and attitude rather than the way she is stereotyped. The rest of the characters often feel rather small and one dimensional behind her. However, the squabble between her and Dick that occurs later in the book is rather tiresome and repetitive as it focuses around the whole 'good as a boy' issue.
As usual though Uncle Quentin's work attracts the wrong kind of attention, this time in the form of Mr Curton and some other villains who are determined to get their hands on the secret project he has been working on. In a shocking turn of events it's one of the most harrowing and explosive endings to the books so far leaving George, Timmy and her father at the mercy of the criminals and the other three set to work with Curton's son Martin and figure out the truth before everything the five know is destroyed forever...
Blyton's usual child friendly language and fun but fast paced writing is evident throughout this book. Though I feel a lot of this book focuses on the relationship between George and her father and introducing various characters and building up a lot of back story to fill the pages. It was very dull to read through at times though Blyton rewards you with the climatic ending. Not one of the best in the series but still well worth the read, whatever your age.
Five On Kirrin Island Again is the sixth in the series of 21 books by Enid Blyton featuring the Famous Five. This book was originally published in 1947, and as such much of the content is relative to that time. The books are all considered among the top children's books, and I concur. I read them when I was younger and still do every now and then.
The Famous Five are Julian, Dick and Anne Kirrin, and their cousin George (Georgina) Kirrin and her dog Timmy. Five On Kirrin Island Again sees the Famous Five once more spending school holiday time in Kirrin Bay, where George lives with her parents. Her father, Quentin, has 'borrowed' George's island in the bay for his scientific experiements, and has constructed a strange tower in the middle of it. For peace of mind for everyone, it is agreed that Quentin will signal that everything is fine day and night with a torch or a mirror to the house on the mainland, and Timmy the dog will stay with him for protection. However, one day the signals are strange, and George is determined to go to the island to investigate, launching the Five into adventure once more as secret passages and curious strangers come into the tale.
The book is 184 pages long, so it is not a long read if you read it as an adult. The book is geared towards children, so there is nothing complex involved here. The characters are developing very well by this sixth book, and you feel that each book opens up more possibilities for Blyton to explore further adventures in Kirrin Bay and farther afield. The children seem to remain the same age despite the years and holidays passing by, but this is part of the magic and mystery surrounding Enid Blyton's Famous Five.