Monday, February 18, 2013

Read! Classic Adventure, Romance, Mystery

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson Illustration by N.C. Wyeth
Classics! These are still around because they're compelling, fascinating, and fun. Kids have sophisticated tastes when it comes to their stories because they are exposed to a large variety due to improved tech--games have extended plots, there is a plethora of television and film options, some are actually of good quality. Let's get them into the classic books for truly profound experiences.

Kids aren't afraid to seek complicated thought processes--offer a smorgasbord of classic stories for them to consume.

1. Adventure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson Illustrations by N.C. Wyeth

Wonder what Jane's thinking? Read the book.
You may as well start with the best adventure ever! And outstanding illustrations. Stevenson tells a compelling, on-the-edge-of-your-seat story. Kids love it. Don't worry about vocabulary or archaic language, this story moves. And if you don't get a word occasionally, Google it.

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

This is better than Twilight. A grand gothic novel with a hint of feminism, Jane doesn't wilt like Bella. The character creates empathy as she goes through tragic circumstances, and the reader can make judgments as to her decisions. Jane goes from one trauma to another, dragging your heart with it.

3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Poor Pip. What a doofus. Dickens perfected the twisted plot, personable characters, and strange happy endings.

Don't know if that's White Fang, Kiche or One-Eye.
4. White Fang by Jack London

A dog (wolf) story with a happy ending. This is another extreme adventure story--from the animal's perspective. Along with The Call of the Wild, you truly have lived in the Yukon. Great summer read, Jack London is so effective, it doesn't matter what the temperature is, the book is like an airconditioner in its imagery. Still wonder what happened to Kiche.

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

This child is caught in such a quandary--but with a voice of clarity he proclaims the truth about the society in which he lives--the ante-bellum South. Humor and truth, Mark Twain's forte. 

Get in that canoe and glide along the Glimmerglass.
6. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fennimore Cooper, illustrations by N. C. Wyeth

There is an entire series about Nathaniel Bumppo, starting with his teen years before the American Revolution. This is the most famous of the series. The writing is so compelling, you will have had the experience of camping with Nattie and having hatchets whiz by your head. You really can't miss this.

And don't you dare just watch a film or mini-series and think you know the story! A reader's imagination is the best production crew.

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