It’s a bit late I know but it is a crazy time of year so I hope you’ll forgive me. As stated I am going to take a look at Julie Robinson’s first book The Mysterious Boy.
Julie is someone I have known for a long time now, and her writing has always been detailed and interesting to say the least and she’s written many a long tale about the Five Find Outers and Dog which can be found on the Enid Blyton Society Website. This is her first published book however, so let’s take a look.
The Cornish setting
Julie is native to the beautiful county of Cornwall so it makes sense for her first novel to be set somewhere close to home, so the description is top notch and the locations are actually places you can visit which adds to the texture to the novel. As it’s based on the feeling of an Enid Blyton adventure draws us in.
However the actual story is a complete change from a typical Blyton novel. It’s hard to decide if I want to tell you this part at all because it does completely change the outlook and the feel of the book. It adds a layer of mystery to it which settles beautifully with the mysterious Cornish surroundings and the delightful mystery.
Definitely for children
I love Julie, she’s a great person and her writing is a delight but her book The Mysterious Boy is very much aimed at the younger audience. Without a doubt it would capture the young minds in a way that Blyton once captured them, but for me, it was an easy read through and maybe a little predictable, but then I am a 26 year old librarian so I do read a lot and I read very widely as well. However, I would love to give this book to someone who is the age its intended for and see how they react to it. I believe it would be a truly enchanting novel for them to try. Luckily I have a supply of children I could ask at work, and failing that, I’ve only got to wait approximately 7 years and five and a half months for Fiona’s baby Brodie to be old enough to read it himself. No time at all right?
I love finding these books to share with you guys, I really do, but the whole premise of the plot revolves around a fire that happened a long time ago and the desperate search to find and clear the named culprit’s name. Luckily the children have some help to guide them through this challenge. We see the world through the children’s eyes once more, as it’s told in the first person, much a different style from Blyton’s but the use of twins is once again a shout back to Blyton’s own novels where twins were always a fascination in her books and well used.
Go out, and buy this book for you and the young children in your life. More so for the children as I believe that’s where Julie’s audience is, and her fan base lies. I have a few children I might offer the book to as a Christmas read, and get some opinions from. In the meantime, may I suggest that you purchase the book from Amazon here, and let us know what you think of the book below in the comments (as well as reviewing it on Amazon.)
Thank you Stef, That’s a lovely article and very cleverly written so as not to give away the plot. Thank you. Julie
Sorry, but are you the same ‘Julie’, who wrote The Five Find-Outers in Retirement in Talk About Blyton and Enid Blyton Society?
Yes, the very same!
A real page-turner. Great stuff!