The Secret Forest, by Enid Blyton
I recommend this book, if you have read all the Famous Five and the Secret Seven and are looking for another story that is about going up and down a mountain and trying to escape on time.
There is a boy called Prince Paul and he is the prince of Baronia. He brings some of his friends from his boarding school in England home to Baronia for the summer holidays. He tells them about a secret forest that is inside a circle of steep mountains where no one has ever gone. People have tried to reach the secret forest but it is impossible because of the steep drops.
In a small town in Baronia the people are always getting robbed by people who live in the mountains beside the secret forest. No one knows where their base is.
One day, Prince Paul and his friends go climbing up the steep mountainside. They find this old temple in the ruins. Except for one statue, everything else is broken. The statue had a crack down its middle. When they were on their way home to the palace, it suddenly got very foggy. One of Prince Paul’s friends called Jack saw some berries and wanted to pick them. Afterwards he got lost. He found he was walking back to the old temple in the fog. He decided he would stay there until the fog went and he fell asleep.
When he woke up he heard a noise and saw the statue that was not cracked split open. Out came some robbers! He waited until they were out of sight and then he ran back to the palace. There he told his friends and they decided to go back and check it out at night. The boys went up when it was dark to the ruined temple and tried to open the statue. Prince Paul found a piece that you could push down in one ear. He pressed on it and the statue came in half.
Inside the statue, there was a hole with a rope going down. They all decided they would go through. At the bottom there was a tunnel that went all the way to a stream where a raft was. They all climbed into the raft and the raft took them all the way to the secret forest.
In the secret forest there was a river that flowed through a city of robber houses. They decided they would stop for the night. Early in the morning, there was a really big storm. They climbed under a bush for shelter but that did not help. They walked up a platform beside the river to get back to the top. But a robber saw them on the way. The water was now getting higher because of the storm. When they got to the top the water was up to their knees and part of the roof fell in and more water came. They quickly climbed up just when the other robbers came. The robbers saw the water crashing and tried to run back down to the secret forest. Prince Paul and his friends heard the whole ceiling fall down.
The robbers will never be able to come out of the secret forest and rob the villagers again.
Prince Paul and his friends went back to school in England after a very adventurous holiday.