Monday Children’s Book Reviews for March 14, 2011

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

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

“A mischievous boy who can fly and magically refuses to grow up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang the Lost Boys, interacting with mermaids, Indians, fairies, and pirates, and (from time to time) meeting ordinary children from the world outside.”                                [J BARRIE]

Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

“This ingenious fantasy centers around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth’s gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish, yet lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-wicked “Which,” Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the “impossible” mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom…”         [J JUSTER]

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

“Pippi is an irrepressible, irreverent, and irrefutably delightful girl who lives alone (with a monkey) in her wacky house, Villa Villekulla. When she’s not dancing with the burglars who were just trying to rob her house, she’s attempting to learn the “pluttification” tables at school; fighting Adolf, the strongest man in the world at the circus; or playing tag with police officers. Pippi’s high-spirited, good-natured hijinks cause as much trouble as fun, but a more generous child you won’t find anywhere.”             [J LINDGREN]

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

“The title character is Pollyanna Whittier, a young orphan who goes to live in Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern Aunt Polly. Pollyanna’s philosophy of life centers on what she calls “The Glad Game”, an optimistic attitude she learned from her father.

“The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna’s father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because “we don’t need ’em!”                    [J PORTER]

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

“Over a hundred years after its original publication, The Railway Children is still one of E. Nesbit’s most beloved and delightful stories. Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis were very happy living in a comfortable house surrounded by a cook and servants and two loving parents, until one evening when there was a knock at the door and their father was mysteriously taken away by two men. Suddenly alone, their mother moves the family to a small cottage in the countryside. There, the children begin a series of exciting adventures, from saving a train filled with passengers from a landslide, to rescuing a baby from a fire, to aiding a penniless Russian exile, to eventually unraveling the mystery of their father’s disappearance.”                                   [J NESBIT]

Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

“Ramona is off to kindergarten, and it’s the greatest day of her life. So why is she sitting on the bench while the rest of the students play the game gray duck? Laughs and minor upsets abound in an enormously popular story starring the one and only Ramona Quimby!”              [J CLEARY]

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin

“This classic novel about a lively little girl from Maine has delighted both young and old ever since it was first published, in 1903. And who can resist the charms of Rebecca Rowena Randall from Sunnybrook Farm? From the moment she steps on board Uncle Jerry Cobb’s stagecoach on her way to a new life in Riverboro, all who encounter her are enchanted by this irrepressible, passionate child with the wonderfully beguiling eyes. Her classmates and friends; the young businessman, “Mr. Aladdin”; and in the end, even prim and proper Aunt Miranda can’t help but be won over by Rebecca’s good nature and remarkable spirit.Full of humor and warmth, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is an American treasure.”     [J WIGGIN]

Roll of thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

“Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry tells the story of one African American family, fighting to stay together and strong in the face of brutal racist attacks, illness, poverty, and betrayal in the Deep South of the 1930s.

“Nine-year-old Cassie Logan, growing up protected by her loving family, has never had reason to suspect that any white person could consider her inferior or wish her harm. But during the course of one devastating year when her community begins to be ripped apart by angry night riders threatening African Americans, she and her three brothers come to understand why the land they own means so much to their Papa.”           1977 Newbery Prize winner         [J TAYLOR]

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr

“Based on a true story, a young girl faces the battle of her life when she is told that she has the ‘atom bomb disease,’ leukemia, thus she turns to her native beliefs by making a thousand paper cranes so that the gods will grant her one wish to be well again.”                                 [J COERR]

Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

“When their father invites a mail-order bride to come live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by their new mother and hope that she will stay.”              1986 Newbery Medal winner             [J MACLACHLAN]

Advertisements

Leave a comment

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s