In the spirit of my new Nota Bene section, I’m jumping right in with the first prompt: What is your favorite book series?

My favorite series is one I read often as a child: The Five Find-Outers and Dog by Enid Blyton. The stories follow five children detectives around their small town as they solve mysteries and annoy the local policeman. Fatty, Larry, Daisy, Pip, and Bets made me wish I was growing up in England, the place where kids were sent off to boarding school, were free to run around by themselves in adorable villages, and called their breaks “holidays” instead of “vacations” (these were important things for the 8-year-old me).

Each story features a unique mystery that the kids solve while on break from school. Despite being a children’s series, the crimes are surprisingly complex and sometimes include red herrings and plot twists. Blyton builds suspense effectively and brings out each character’s personality nicely (an important thing for the 25-year-old me).

I enjoyed the Five Find-Outers and Dog (as well as The Secret Seven, another mystery series by Blyton) as a child because they weren’t patronizing. Do you remember being told you were too young to do x-thing? Well, here are five kids that are tired of hearing that and decide to fight crime because they can. That’s right, show the adults how mysteries should be solved!

My choosing this series over something like Harry Potter might make me sound crazy, but I like giving credit where credit is due. Enid Blyton was a huge part of my childhood. Her books were the reason reading became a passion of mine, and her relative invisibility in the U.S. market meant very few people knew about her, which I liked (there’s nothing more intimate than a book making you feel like it was written just for you).

Some other series that I enjoy reading include:

  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • The Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin
  • The Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley
  • The Tudor Court series by Philippa Gregory

What’s a series you enjoyed reading and would recommend? Comment below!

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