My top Famous Five moments
If you like Blyton: The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Cliff Castle, from the book The Secret of Cliff Castle, is (hardly surprisingly) a castle on a cliff. Well it’s not a real castle, more a big building built by one of those mysterious old men who likes their privacy but also has more money than sense and thinks building a great hulking castle with towers and slit-windows is an excellent idea. Luckily this old man includes a tiny door in the back, perfect for children involving themselves in an adventure, and also a handy secret passage down to the bottom of the (non-seaside) cliff.
Josephine, often known as Jo, Jones is one of Malory Towers ‘failed experiments’. Mrs Greyling likes taking on troublesome girls and trying to turn them around. Sometimes it works, but not in Jo’s case. Jo’s parents are nouveaux riche (a terrible sin) and they are loud and gaudy with it, and always telling Jo how wonderful she is. Her father in particular thinks that school is just a laugh and that Jo is there to have a good time. Jo ends up being expelled when she takes her own money (three whole pounds!) back from Matron, plus a few more by accident and then runs away with a first former.
I feel sorry for Jo, as although she is rather annoying and full of herself, she hasn’t had much of a chance thanks to her father. She remonstrates with him in the end, telling him that he always said things like being bottom of the form and breaking rules don’t matter, but they do.