Susie starts her own group, with a not very original name

Secret Seven on the Trail - Enid Blyton

I guess the reason that I like these Secret Seven books (as well as the other Enid Blyton books, and I have churned through quite a lot of them over the year and a half since I decided to read through them again) is that they are short and can pretty much be completed in a day (which also boosts the number of books that I have read for the year so, if I am lucky, I may be able to get to the one hundred and fifty mark, though my goal is still one hundred. They will obviously change the closer I get to the hundred mark. Mind you, I have no intention on increasing that number next year simply because I am not the fastest of readers).

Anyway, this is the forth Secret Seven book and it is rather funny that Blyton decides to bring in a parody of the Famous Five. Basically Jack's sister Susie is upset that she cannot join their group, so she decides to create her own by dragging four others into it, and calls it the Famous Five. There is even a side comment about how the Famous Five are actually quite well known, suggesting that the Secret Seven are basing their group on them (though I suspect Blyton suggests that the Famous Five come out of a series of books rather than actually existing in the world of the Secret Seven).

Now, the Famous Five decide to play trick on the Secret Seven by suggesting that they are already in an adventure, and drop some fake clues to attempt to embarrass the Secret Seven (and possibly even get them into trouble). However, what ends up happening is that they follow these clues and discover a real adventure, and end up solving it, once again becoming heroes in the town. I suspect that really ends up upsetting the Famous Five because if they had actually followed through on it they would have landed up in the adventure as well, but not having the experience of the Secret Seven, I doubt they would have reached a successful conclusion. Quite possibly they would have ended up getting caught and getting into a lot of trouble.

The funny thing about kids though is that they can get away with a lot more than adults, and one wonders if one uses children (which I suspect would be highly illegal in this day an age) as information gathers many of the crooks would not suspect the authorities are onto them. However not only is it dangerous, it is also a slippery path to totalitarianism. In the past (even in America) children have been used as information gatherers, particularly in schools where the teachers encourage the children to notify them if their parents are up to no good. This is probably one of my biggest concerns with state run schools because the schools end up becoming a vehicle not only for information gathering, but also a vehicle for arresting and imprisoning potential or perceived political agitators. My position thus is that we should let children be children and have them go out and have fun.