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Enid Blyton's Famous Five series changed to suit modern readers



Iconic children's book series the Famous Five by Enid Blyton is set to have certain phrases rewritten to be more acceptable to modern readers.

Blyton was an English children's writer and her Famous Five series have been worldwide bestsellers since the 1930s.

But now the series is set to be the latest victim to alterations to suit modern sensibilities to protect young people from cultural, ethnic and gender stereotypes in literature.

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Phrases like "shut up", "don't be an ass" and "don't be an idiot" are set to be changed in the first of the Famous Five adventure collection – Five Have a Puzzling Time.

The storyline of the first book includes the main characters of the series  – Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy – who set out to solve a mystery on supposedly empty Kirrin Island but the five spot a light.

In the original version of the book, one of the main characters George wakes up his cousin Anne after spotting the light while plagued by insomnia over a toothache.

Anne responds to him with "oh George don't be an ass. As if you could get your boat and row across the bay in the middle of the night!".

But in an audiobook version, the phrase "don't be an ass" is cut out.

Another phrase from Julian has also been cut from "shut up George. Be sensible" to "George, be sensible". has contacted Hachette UK, the publisher of Blyton's series, for comment.

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Roald Dahl and his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

It comes after new editions of Roald Dahl's iconic books underwent similar changes to suit modern readers.

Some passages relating to weight, mental health, gender and race have been altered in several of Dahl's classic novels.

Among the changes include Augustus Gloop, the antagonist in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is no longer "enormously fat," just "enormous."

Some characters are now gender neutral, such as the Oompa Loopas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, who were previously described as "small men" but are now "small people".

The alterations were slammed by critics who claimed the changes undermined the genius of great artists and was "absurd censorship".

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