The Mystery Hideout
When Mick first meets Izzie on his paper round, he thinks he’s stuck up. But on the school football field, Izzie proves the perfect partner… and he knows a way into the derelict Kellerman’s Studio. Inside, the two boys find more than old props. They stumble on a sinister demolition plot and the key to a series of bank raids. As the plot unravels, the barriers between the boys begin to crumble.
The Mystery Hideout by Ken Follett — Abelard-Schuman, London, 1976 (for children). Published in the UK as The Secret of Kellerman’s Studio.
Listen to an excerpt of The Mystery Hideout
The Power Twins
When Uncle Grigorian asks Fritz, Helen and Jonathon to stay with him on his farm, all seems normal. They soon find, however, a space capsule in the farm shed and that ‘Uncle Grigorian’ is really a messenger from outer space! The children are given special powers and sent into space to settle a dispute over control of a planet. Together, they hunt for a solution to save the planet from destruction.
The Power Twins by ‘Martin Martinsen’ — Abelard-Schuman, London, 1976 (science fiction for children). Published in the USA under the name Ken Follett. There are also three science fiction short stories for children under the name Martin Martinsen.
Listen to an excerpt of The Power Twins
When I was struggling to become a best selling writer, I tried children’s books. The Mystery Hideout is for children around eight to ten years old. My son was in that age range at the time, so I knew exactly what an eight-year-old would like, what he would understand and find thrilling, and how long his attention could be held.
The Power Twins was science fiction, written under the pseudonym Martin Martinsen (my great-grandfather’s name). I also wrote two or three short stories under that name about a boy whose father was a detective in outer space. They were published in a series of science fiction anthologies for kids.
I admire writers who know what different age groups will grasp. Enid Blyton was able to write for all ages, from three or four up to about twelve, (which is when they start reading adult fiction). She was able to hit the target every time. I’d find it hard to write juvenile fiction now that my children have grown up.
Listen to Ken’s view on The Mystery Hideout and The Power Twins