When I wrote my post about sequels, I remembered a series of books I had loved as a child. They were British children's books about a large family who lived in the countryside. I knew that one character was named February, and that was about it. For years I have wanted to reread them but could not find them. Thanks to Link+, a wonderful interlibrary loan service available at my public library, I was able to order the books!
I am so happy I did - they were wonderful!
The author is John Verney and the two books are January's Tunnel and February's Road. They are among the most sophisticated children's books I've ever read, especially when you consider they were published in 1959 and 1961. We have broken all sorts of barriers in children's books, yet that doesn't always translate into a sophisticated read. These two books deal with political intrigue, government scandal, international power grabs, yet in a way that doesn't talk down to children (or adults for that matter). I was probably about nine years old when I first read them and I don't recall questioning anything. It was still a powerful read now, and I was dumbfounded that the books could engage me so well. And I do love it when February calls things she dislikes, "Ghastly".