This for the Arthur Ransome market to which this bears good comparison; for the Enid Blyton audience- better writing and less contrived though not as exciting. There is something unfailingly appealing about a well-written story of a group of children accidentally put on their own, outwitting hardened criminals and winning out against odds. This- though out to a pattern- is first rate reading. Four English children, ranging from ten to fifteen, are left in sole occupancy of a barge and must take her over 100 miles, on a network of canals to reach a certain town on a certain day. The trip is exciting even before they take a side canal as a short cut. Here they discover a warehouse of stolen goods and play their part in the capture of the thieves. Good going.