How Ali Ferguson Saved Houdini
I’ve always loved your books and go through them like Bakasura through food. My favourite’s Mister Pink Whistle, and I love the Magic Faraway Tree. And your picnics! And the midnight feasts at St. Clarence! And the fun everyone has!… but there’s something I have to tell you, Ms. Blyton: there just might be a modern day author who equals you in the simple yet delightful plots that you always managed to cook up; the life you breathed into every character, even Timmy and Dopey; and the easy way in which you helped kids grasp grown up thoughts.
Her name is Elen Caldecott, Ms. Blyton, and the book I’m talking about is titled ‘How Ali Ferguson saved Houdini’. It had colourful font on it in crawly, curvy handwriting and a three-toed sloth hanging from the cover and looked like so much fun that I just had to pick it up. The book’s about a young boy who moves to a new apartment, makes friends with this girl Caitlin who lives in the same building and how, together, they stumble upon an adventure involving Caitlin’s dad, a pet shop, crooks and a kidnapped dog owner. (She sounds just like you, doesn’t she?)
And she’s with the times, you know? It’s common knowledge that kids these days ‘grow up’ much before they’re supposed to and have a totally different world of problems and issues to deal with. This Elen, she coaxes the reader into feeling those things so beautifully. Here’s an example: Ali Ferguson’s mother has separated from his father, and she doesn’t state that, but we still get it. The anger Ali feels when his mother starts showing an interest in their neighbour, the way Ali’s and Caitlin’s and Gez’s friendship develops and their super sleuthing skills are all set out in prose so simple, so clean, so full of meaning and insights and emotions that it’s a delight to read.
I’m glad she’s a writer. She’s the kind of children’s author I would like to be some day. If I don’t succeed in becoming like you, that is. She’ll be on the reading list of the books my children will read.
I’m really looking forward to more of her books. Meanwhile, I’ll check if they deliver books to the place you are at, so you know what I’m talking about as well.
This post was submitted by Nabila Tazyeen.