Posts tagged with Defending the Weak
21 November 2014 - Book Review: Red Kayak
Age 12-16. 5 Stars. Although Cummings’ excellent writing is very enjoyable to read, this is a serious book, and sensitive readers will rightfully be troubled by it. Brady has something significant to lose no matter what he does, and although his choices do eventually lead to a satisfying conclusion, the whole story is tinged with grief. Even this sadness is an opportunity for good, though: this ordinary boy looks a senseless death in the face, and rather than retreating he takes action to help. In this action he discovers the kind of person he really is.
8 July 2010 - Book Review: The Indian in the Cupboard
Age 08-12. 5 Stars. When Omri, a young English boy, puts a toy Indian in a medicine cabinet and turns a special key, the Indian magically comes to life… This is an entertaining, appealing story, in which an immature young man learns to take responsibility and show respect for others.
14 June 2010 - Book Review: The Wind in the Willows
Age 08-12. A lonely mole, exasperated with Spring cleaning, abandons his home and goes for a long jaunt ending at a river, where he meets a friendly river rat… Thus follow some of the most implausible and wonderful adventures ever to enthrall a young reader. The story delights with what C.S. Lewis calls “scandalous escapism,” yet within the animals’ adventures, dangers, and reveries, if you are looking for them, you will find timeless moral qualities: the value of friendship, the beauty of unblinking courage, and the consequences of foolishness. It really should not be missed.
6 May 2010 - Book Review: Misty of Chincoteague
Age 08-12. 5 Stars. Paul and Maureen, two siblings living on Chincoteague Island, are rambling together one day when they spot a wild mare. Transfixed by her beauty, they set about earning money to buy her… This story provides a view of a close friendship between siblings, an interesting and challenging goal for both protagonists, healthy family relationships, and respect for authority. It is romantic, refreshing, and inspiring, full of beauty and life.
13 April 2010 - Book Review: Sarah Whitcher’s Story
Age 04-08. Little Sarah Whitcher, left in the charge of her older siblings while her parents leave their New Hampshire cabin for the day, wanders away and is lost in the woods… Although the tale ends happily, it is a “scarer,” and may not be suited to more sensitive listeners. But for those who are able to handle Sarah’s real danger, it provides a wonderful, suspenseful adventure, gives a glimpse of early New Hampshire life, and portrays a tight-knit, loving family.
24 November 2009 - Book Review: Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving
Age 04-08. It is important to acknowledge that while Thanksgiving symbolizes a young America’s hope and potential, it also commemorates the beginning of colonization, an event which meant grief and destruction for the original inhabitants of our country… [this story] emphasizes the sovereign, redemptive plan of God through Squanto’s personal suffering, and Squanto’s ability to do good in the midst of tragic circumstances. This is a hero worth emulating, and a perspective on Thanksgiving that should not be missed.
19 October 2009 - Book Review: Harry Potter Series
Age 12-16. The Harry Potter series is entertaining and well written, and follows a good-against-evil motif that is in some harmony with a Christian worldview. The magic in the early books seems for the most part fantastical, although the later books move into darker, more occultic territory. More problematic is Harry’s isolationism, as well as the absence of trustworthy, competent adults in his life…. I would recommend that if the books are approved, their introduction should be delayed until the early teen years, when readers are old enough to engage the problematic elements with the help of a discerning adult.
6 October 2009 - Book Review: Babe, the Gallant Pig
Age 04-08. 5 Stars. Children who have enjoyed Charlotte’s Web and James Herriot’s Treasury for Children will love this story, which is exceptionally well written with humor, pathos, and drama… The characters are wonderfully drawn, and Babe exemplifies loyalty, courage, determination, and courtesy… An outstanding read.
28 September 2009 - Book Review: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (Adaptation)
Age 04-08. 4 Stars. Pinkney’s adaptation uses modern language, retaining almost none of Kipling’s masterful language, but telling the story very well. What really makes this book are his lavish, exuberant watercolor paintings which draw the reader in and dramatize the story in a very vivid way.
21 September 2009 - Book Review: The Dragons of Blueland
Age 04-08. 4 Stars. This story rounds out the trilogy begun with My Father’s Dragon… This is more of the same fun fare that characterized the first two books, capitalizing on the mystique of dragons which makes Elmer’s participation in their lives quite a romantic adventure. Again, Elmer would set a better example by confiding in his parents, but the lighthearted and fanciful nature of this adventure may help young readers interpret his behavior without emulating his secrecy.
What the Boy chiefly dabbled in was natural history and fairy tales, and he just took them as they came, in a sandwichy sort of way, without making any distinctions; and really his course of reading strikes one as rather sensible. — , The Reluctant Dragon
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