I always get customers coming in saying something along the lines of ‘My child has read this, they absolutely loved it, can you recommend anything similar?’ Sometimes, it’s hard to recommend anything similar, and sometimes I’m tempted to suggest something quite different, so the child has a broad reading range but in the case of a customer the other day asking for books similar to Enid Blyton I just had to recommend two fantastic authors whose books I really admire, and love.
Lauren St. John – She’s won the Blue Peter Fiction award and has a huge following. I particularly love the Laura Marlin mysteries set in Cornwall. Orphan Laura is forced to move to her Uncle’s weird house in Cornwall and longs for a life of adventure- just like the ones in her favourite books and it’s not long before she find some at Dead Man’s Cove, a place her Uncle has forbidden her to go to…
The second in the Laura Marlin series ‘Kidnap in the Caribbean’ was published last month by Orion and we follow Laura all the way to the Caribbean and things are a little different there. Cornwall certainly doesn’t have pirates and sharks on the shore! It’s another fantastic book in this series. Well written, with a really loveable, charming character – books like these are rare and certainly echo the fun, innocent nature of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books in which going out to play meant finding your own adventures!
I also can’t stop raving about Helen Moss and her book ‘Adventure Island: Mystery of the Whistling Caves’. It might be the cover which appeals, but it also might be the mysterious action packed story in which three children and a dog make their own investigation when the local whistling caves suddenly go quite and lots of treasure goes missing.
This is good old fashioned story telling with a modern setting – I loved it. Also part of a series, ‘The Mystery of the Midnight Ghost’ is out now.
The Laura Marlin Mysteries 1: Dead Man’s Cove (978-1444001488)
The Laura Marlin Mysteries 2: Kidnap in the Caribbean (978-1444000214)
Lauren St John
Orion Children’s Books
Adventure Island 1: Mystery of the Whistling Caves (978-1444003284)
Adventure Island 2: The Mystery of the Midnight Ghost (978-1444003291)
Adventure Island 3: The Mystery of the Hidden Gold (978-1444003307)
Adventure Island 4: The Mystery of the Missing Masterpiece (978-1444003314)
Orion Children’s Books