Monday Children’s Book Reviews for February 21, 2011

Children’s Classics, Part 5: Fiction [continued]

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

“Caddie Woodlawn is a real adventurer. She’d rather hunt than sew, and plow than bake, and tries to beat her brother’s dares every chance she gets. Caddie is friends with Indians, who scare most of the neighbors — neighbors who, like her mother and sisters, don’t understand her at all.

“Caddie is brave, and her story is special because it’s based on the life and memories of Carol Ryrie Brink’s grandmother, the real Caddie Woodlawn. Her spirit and sense of fun have made this book a classic that readers have taken to their hearts for more than seventy years.”         1936 Newbery Medal winner                          [J BRINK]

Call of the Wild by Jack London

“Buck, a powerful dog, half St. Bernard and half sheepdog, lives on an estate in California’s Santa Clara Valley. He leads a comfortable life there, but it comes to an end when men discover gold in the Klondike region of Canada and a great demand arises for strong dogs to pull sleds. Buck is kidnapped by a gardener on the Miller estate and sold to dog traders, who teach Buck to obey by beating him with a club and, subsequently, ship him north to the Klondike.”         [J LONDON]

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

“Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last, and only five lucky children will be allowed inside. But what they find is even wilder than any of the wild rumors they’ve heard!”                            [J DAHL]

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

“An affectionate, sometimes bashful pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte, who lives in the rafters above his pen. A prancing, playful bloke, Wilbur is devastated when he learns of the destiny that befalls all those of porcine persuasion. Determined to save her friend, Charlotte spins a web that reads “Some Pig,” convincing the farmer and surrounding community that Wilbur is no ordinary animal and should be saved. In this story of friendship, hardship, and the passing on into time, E.B. White reminds us to open our eyes to the wonder and miracle often found in the simplest of things.”           1953 Newbery Honor Book                      [J WHITE]

Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“In this Christmas classic, Dickens’s most famous character, Ebenezer Scrooge, learns the meaning of friendship after being visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come.”             [J DICKENS]

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

“After Chester, a cricket, arrives in the Times Square subway station, he takes up residence in a newsstand. Between escapades in New York City, Chester and four new friends manage to bring success to the almost bankrupt newsstand.”         1961 Newbery Honor Book    [J SELDEN]

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

“Of all Dickens’s novels, David Copperfield most fervently embraces the comic delights, the tender warmth, the tragic horrors of childhood. It is our classic tale of growing up, an enchanting story of a gentle orphan discovering life and love in an indifferent adult world. Persecuted by his wrathful stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; deceived by his boyhood idol, the callous, charming Steerforth; driven into mortal combat with the sniveling clerk Uriah Heep; and hurled, pell-mell, into a blizzard of infatuation with the adorably dim-witted Dora, he survives the worst — and the best — with inimitable style, his bafflement turning to self-awareness and his unbridled young heart growing ever more disciplined and true.”                                 [Fiction DICKENS]

Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

“When four brothers and sisters discover a Psammead, or sand-fairy, in the gravel pit near the country house where they are staying, they have no way of knowing all the adventures its wish-granting will bring them.”        [J NESBIT]

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

“When Claudia decided to run away, she planned very carefully. She would be gone just long enough to teach her parents a lesson in Claudia appreciation. And she would go in comfort – she would live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She saved her money, and she invited her brother Jamie to go, mostly because be was a miser and would have money.

“Claudia was a good organizer and Jamie had some ideas, too; so the two took up residence at the museum right on schedule. But once the fun of settling in was over, Claudia had two unexpected problems: She felt just the same, and she wanted to feel different; and she found a statue at the Museum so beautiful she could not go home until she had discovered its maker, a question that baffled the experts, too.

“The former owner of the statue was Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Without her – well, without her, Claudia might never have found a way to go home.”        1968 Newbery Medal winner              [J KONIGSBURG]


1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Children, Reading, Uncategorized, Union City Library

One response to “Monday Children’s Book Reviews for February 21, 2011

  1. Lovely choices indeed!

    I’m looking for some children’s classics to add to my home library, so these recommendations were excellent.


    Read Aloud Dad

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