Frederick Marryat

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Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit 2013 – The Round-Up

Published January 6, 2014 by bibliobeth

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2013 is over, and so is our Kid-Lit challenge but I think I can speak for us both when I say we both really enjoyed it. Here are the twelve books we read with the links to my reviews! Please check out Chrissi’s blog HERE for her fabulous reviews.

JANUARY – Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

FEBRUARY – The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley

MARCH – The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

APRIL – Stig of the Dump by Clive King

MAY – Heidi by Johanna Spyri

JUNE – A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

JULY – Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

AUGUST – The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat

SEPTEMBER – A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

OCTOBER – Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

NOVEMBER – Northern Lights/The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

DECEMBER – The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

So, in the style of the “Talking About…” reviews we normally do, we thought we’d answer a quick few questions about our first year blogging in Kid-Lit.

1) What was your favourite Kid-Lit book of 2013 and why?
BETH: This is tough, there were quite a few that I really enjoyed. I think it would have to be A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, simply because I had forgotten how beautiful the story was.
CHRISSI: This is a tough question. I’m torn between two that I thoroughly enjoyed. They are The Railway Children and A Little Princess. I think I’d have to go for A Little Princess, because it just gave me such a lovely warm feeling when I read it. The writing is beautiful.
2) What was your least favourite Kid-Lit book of 2013 and why?
BETH: There were a couple that also fitted this category! Probably The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley as I found it quite odd, and was bitterly disappointed by the story in general.
CHRISSI: We seem to have similar answers Beth! Mine would be Children Of The New Forest though. I was disappointed with it. I really thought I’d enjoy it! The Water Babies was an odd read.
3) What was the Kid-Lit book that surprised you the most?
BETH: This has to be Northern Lights/The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. I loved the imagination behind this story, and some of his ideas (like having your own personal daemon) just blew me away. That reminds me, I must put the second book on my Coming Up list soon!
CHRISSI: I was surprised at how long Oliver Twist was. I think I’m so used to the film which condensed the book quite a bit.
4) Have you been inspired to read any other books from a Kid-Lit author of 2013?
BETH: I have! After The Little Princess, I decided to look into what else Frances Hodgson Burnett has written, as I know only of this book. I then went on a trip to Persephone Books in London, and found a copy of her novel The Making of A Marchioness, which I am looking forward to getting round to at some point!
CHRISSI: I want to read more of Frances Hodgson Burnett. Other than that I don’t think I’d read books from the same authors, besides Dickens, who I will hopefully read more of on the future. It has made me want to continue this challenge, and also think about other features around children’s literature!
Coming soon…. (Thursday to be exact) Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit – The Twelve Titles for 2014!
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Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit – AUGUST READ – The Children of the New Forest – Frederick Marryat

Published August 22, 2013 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

In The Children of the New Forest, Marryat describes the trials and triumphs of the four Beverley children, orphaned during the English Civil War and forced to take refuge with a poor woodsman in the New Forest.

What did I think?:

This book tells the story of four children – Edward, Humphrey, Alice and Edith, whose distinguished father Colonel Beverley is killed during the English Civil War while fighting the cause of King Charles and as a result, they become orphaned. An old forester, Jacob Armitage, whilst walking in the woods one days hears a group of men fighting against the king aka Roundheads forging a plan to set fire to Colonel Beverley’s mansion, burning everything within, meaning that the children are in mortal danger. He immediately sets out to the grand house to warn the children’s aunt and guardian, who refuses to leave the property. He manages to persuade her that he should take the children however, and raise them as his own grand-children while teaching them the ways of the forest so they may be able to provide for themselves whilst concealing their identities. This is due to the king having fled, and Cromwell having England under his thumb. If the children’s identities are revealed, it could be incredibly dangerous for them. The children pass some happy years in this manner with the love and tutelage of the old man, until he dies, and the children have to learn to survive on their own.

To be honest, when I started this book, I had a bit of trouble understanding how children could enjoy it. The subject matter seemed slightly too complex, and there are not many what I call “major action sequences.” In fact, not much goes on of much interest, apart from a few fairly exciting hunting expeditions. It was almost what I can imagine the children of Narnia’s lives to be like minus the war, wardrobe and talking animals. There are some interesting characters, Pablo their adopted gypsy boy was quite entertaining, along with the villain of the piece whose vendetta against the Edward I quite enjoyed and the adorable old forester Jacob Armitage. Disappointedly, the female characters seem like non-entities, with not much to say for themselves which is a shame. Not that this book is all bad… the historical element is very intriguing, and I wouldn’t mind learning more about this period of history. As a classic piece of children’s literature however, I think there were MUCH better books written around this time.

Please see my sister Chrissi’s fabulous review HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

Probably not.

Star rating (out of 5):

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WWW Wednesday #14

Published August 21, 2013 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Time for another WWW Wednesday! Thanks to MizB at shouldbereading for hosting.

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?

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This is an ARC from NetGalley that I’m finally getting round to! Really enjoying it so far and can’t wait to see how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?

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This year I’m participating in a “Kid-Lit” challenge with my sister ChrissiReads, and this is our August read. Our reviews will be posted very soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?:

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I can’t believe I’m only getting to this book now, but I’m really looking forward to it.

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please leave your link and I’ll come and check it out! Happy Reading Everyone!