ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Enid Mary Blyton was born in East Dulwich, United Kingdom, on August 11, 1897. She was the eldest of the three siblings. An accomplished children’s author, Blyton’s books have been bestsellers since the 1930s, selling more than 600 million copies worldwide.
Blyton wrote on diverse topics like education, natural history, fantasy, and mystery. Her debut book was a poetry collection known as Child Whispers, published in 1922. Her best works include Noddy, Secret Seven, Malory Towers, and Famous Five. Blyton’s life was dramatized in Enid, a BBC television film. The film was first broadcast in the UK on BBC Four in 2009.
The Island of Adventure is the first book in the Adventure series. The book introduces the readers to the four protagonists.
One of the protagonists, Philip, has health issues during the school term, forcing him to stay at one of his teacher’s place during the vacation to complete the schoolwork. There, he meets Lucy-Ann, Jack, and his pet parrot, Kiki. When it’s time for Philip to get back home, he somehow manages to bring Lucy-Ann, Jack, and Kiki along with him to Craggy Tops. This phase of the story also sees the entry of our last protagonist, Dinah. The four of them end up discovering a deserted island nearby. One thing leads to another as the quartet finds itself in the middle of an adventure on this island.
WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT THE ISLAND OF ADVENTURE
Written in plain English, The Island of Adventure is pretty easy for kids to understand. It also transports adults back to their childhood. Going over the points of view of all four protagonists was a mountainous task, but the author has gone about it beautifully. Considering this is the first book in the series, Blyton has also touched upon the side characters. All in all, the plot is dramatic enough to arouse interest.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABOUT THE ISLAND OF ADVENTURE
The Island of Adventure has its fair share of gender stereotypes and racism. For instance, girls do the household chores while boys take care of the manly tasks. While these instances have been removed from the modern version, one can still find these in the older versions.
In addition, the build-up time is excruciating. One cannot help but feel bored over the first half of the story. The book is almost over by the time the adventure finally begins, and it comes to an end in no time.
‘Well, you know what grown-ups are,’ said Dinah. ‘They don’t think the same way as we do. I expect when we grow up, we shall think like them – but let’s hope we remember what it was like to think in the way children do, and understand the boys and the girls that are growing up when we’re men and women.’
The Island of Adventure is an ideal read for children aged 8 to 12. That said, age is no bar for readers who are willing to acknowledge a good book. The effort is totally worth it, for it makes one relive and enjoy their childhood memories. Except for certain stereotypes, the book is an absolute treat for people with a taste for adventure.
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