Tag Archives: 1001 childrens books to read

The Borrowers – Mary Norton

28 Jan

Started – 19/1/13

Finished – 23/1/13

Format – Paperback Book

Challenges – 1001 Childrens Books You Must Read

 

Synopsis – A race of tiny people who live beneath the floor of a proper human kitchen make friends with a young boy, and begin to learn about the world above their heads, from which they have borrowed the furniture and tools.

 

My Thoughts – I brought this book back in 2010 along with the rest of the series of books. I read this book back when i was a child and really enjoyed it so i was hoping that this time round it would be as good.

The Borrowers is a family of little people who live under the kitchen in a house. Theres Pod, the Dad of the family that goes out borrowing, Homily the mother and Arrietty their daughter who wants nothing more than to see more of the outside world, much to the horror of her mother.

They have lived under the floorboards for a number of years and its not until Arrietty meets ‘The Boy’ that things start to go wrong and they have to think about leaving the house that they have only ever known.

I really enjoyed the story of this book espcially how they used bits and bobs for there house, like blotting paper for carpets. I did think that at times it was a little dated as nowadays they wouldnt be borrowing blotting paper and pins, it would be technology but its still a good story.

The book left on a bit a of a cliffhanger and I’m so pleased that i already have the other books in the series.

Rating – 4/5

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum

2 Aug

Started – 20/7/12

Finished – 25/7/12

Format – Hardback Book

 

Challenges – Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

1001 Childrens Books You Must Read

 

Synopsis  – One of the true classics of American literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over four generations. Originally published in 1900, it was the first truly American fairy tale, as Baum crafted a wonderful out of such familiar items as a cornfield scarecrow, a mechanical woodman, and a humbug wizard who used old-fashioned hokum to express that universal theme, “There’s no place like home.”

Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog, Toto, as their Kansas house is swept away by a cyclone and they find themselves in a strange land called Oz. Here she meets the Munchkins and joins the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City, where lives the all-powered Wizard of Oz.

My Thoughts – I’ve owned this book for years and years and its always sat on my shelf. I read this once when i was a lot younger and i thought that i woud read it again now that im older. I was hoping that i enjoyed the story as much as i did as a child.

This book is the story of Dorothy, who lives in Kansas. It is the most boring grey place and she doesnt really like living there. Then during a cyclone Dorothy and her dog Toto are swept away to a place called Oz. This is the most brightly coloured land and it is there that she meets her new friends, the brainless scarecrow, the tin woodman with not heart and the lion with no courage. Together they want to go to see The Wizard of Oz to ask for the things that they want.

Now i felt that parts of this book was quite scary for a child and sometimes quite shocking. for example, the flying monkeys and the wicked witch. As a child this really scared me and i think that this is what put me off reading it again when i was younger. I also felt that when Dorothy was asked to kill the witch it was a little bit shocking. Its not like modern stories and for a little girl to have to kill somebody, it just didnt sit right with me.

However, i did enjoy the story and the journey through the land of Oz. I really got into the story and really fell in love with the characters. I loved the cowerdly lion i think he was my favourite character. I think that there was an important message behind this book with the no brains, heart or courage. I think its kind of like the lion already had his courage he just needed to believe that he already had it.

The only problem i had with this is the musical that was made based on the book. I kept getting ‘follow the yellow brick road’ stuck in my head at various points of the story.

This is a very enjoyable read, not only for children but for adults too.

Rating – 4/5

Around The World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne

20 Jun

 

Started – 30/5/12

Finished – 10/5/12

Format – Kindle e-book

Challenges – BCF June Reading Circle

1001 Books You Must Read

1001 Childrens Books You Must Read

Synopsis – Phileas Fogg is a man of habit, a Victorian gentleman who follows the same routine every day–until he accepts a wager that he can circle the globe within eighty days. Thus begins a hair-raising journey, in which Fogg’s obsession with his timetable is complemented by the dynamism and versatility of his French manservant, Passepartout, whose has a talent for getting into scrapes as the two dash across continents in a suspenseful race against time.

My Thoughts – This book was picked as the choice for the June Reading Circle on the BCF. It is a book that i always wanted to read but never got around too.

This book is aout Phileas Fogg, an excentric  London gentleman who loves his routine. His days follow the same pattern day in day out and he spends a huge ammount of time at the gentlemans club. It is here that he takes the bet to travel around the world in eighty days. Along with his french servant Passepartout he does just this. Now, along the way a policeman named Fix takes Fogg for a thief and follows him around the world in an attempt to arrest him and bring a thief to justice.

I was a little bit unsure about reading this book as i have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the classics. I sometimes struggle to get into them and really have a hard time reading them. However i really got into this book and once i picked it up i couldnt put it down.

There were a few parts that i struggled with, like would it have really been possible during those times. Nowadays this would be an easy feat but a hundred years ago or so, would this have actually worked? Also some of the language and attitudes and values in this book was a little bit hard to read but again this was a sign of the times when things like that happened, if not still unaceptable to say hard to stomach things.

This book is good, a must read for everyone, I was a little bit disappointed as i thought it had an hot air balloon central to the plot, but it didnt. I must stop watching films before i read the book!

Rating – 4/5

 

 

 

I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith

8 May

Started – 26/4/12

Finished – 7/5/12

Format – Paperback Book

Challenges – BCF May Reading Circle

BBC Top 200 Books

1001 Childrens Books You Must Read

Ultimate Teen Book Guide Challenge

World Book Night 2012 Longlist Challenge

Synopsis – ‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink’ is the first line of this timeless, witty and enchanting novel about growing up. Cassandra Mortmain lives with her bohemian and impoverished family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Her journal records her life with her beautiful, bored sister, Rose, her fadingly glamorous stepmother, Topaz, her little brother Thomas and her eccentric novelist father who suffers from a financially crippling writer’s block. However, all their lives are turned upside down when the American heirs to the castle arrive and Cassandra finds herself falling in love for the first time…

My Thoughts – This book was the choice for the May reading circle on the BCF. This book was on my list of books that I’ve always wanted to read but never got around to. I’m so glad that i have finally read this book.

This book is about a seventeen year old girl called Cassandra who lives in a castle with her father, step-mother, brother and sister. Also Stephen lives their too, the son of their former maid. Her father once wrote a novel that was very well known and because of this they were quite rich, but sadly he has not been able to write anything else since. Her step mother Topaz used to be a model in London, but stays in the castle now that hard times have fallen. Her Brother Thomas is a typical boy, still in school. Her sister Rose is a typical older sister, but all she wants to do is find a rich man and fall in love, and in that order too. Now Stephen. He is hopelessly in love with Cassandra, but sadly the feeling is not reciprocated.

The castle that they live in is owned by two American brothers, who visit the castle unexpectedly one night, and this visit paves the way for life changing events. The rich brothers want to help the family in as many ways as possible.

I found Roses attitude towards love quite difficult to get around. All she wanted to do was find a rich man to marry, and while this could have been considered normal at the time the book is set, nowadays it does seem a bit silly. I didnt see what would end up happening to her in the end coming and i really thought that this made the book.

I also enjoyed the fathers struggle with trying to find the words to write a second book. At times, he seems to be loosing his mind, but in the end Cassandra and Thomas manage to hatch a plan to force him to write a book again.

I did find the parts with Stephen in it so upsetting in times. He was totally and utterly in love with Cassandra and it seemed that he would never love anyone else like that. Also, when he left the castle to go to London and said he would never come back. I just found that so sad.

Now Cassandra. I loved her. I loved her innocence, but at the same time i loved how grown up she was. I loved seeing the world through her eyes.

This book is fantastic, and I’m not just saying that. Its one of my favourite books of all time now and i will be definitaly be revisiting this book.

Rating – 5/5

Grimm’s Fairy Stories – Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

27 Mar

Started – 21/3/12

Finished – 23/3/12

Format – Kindle e-book

 

Challenges – Rory Gilmore Challenge (Rapunzel, Snow White and Red Rose)

1001 Childrens Books You Must Read)

501 Must Read Books

 

Synopsis – The Brothers Grimm rediscovered a host of fairy tales. Together with their well-known tales of “Rapunzel”, “The Goose Girl”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Hansel and Gretel” there are darker tales which deserve to be better known. This is a collection of their tales.


My Thoughts – This was one of the many kindle books that i downloaded on the first day of me having my kindle. Its one of those classic books that has always been on my list of books that i want to read but have never got around to reading them all.

 

I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. Although i read most of them in one sitting, it is definitely a book that could be dipped in and out of. I could actually see myself reading these stories aloud at bedtime to my younger cousins.

 

Some of these stories i was familiar with and some i wasnt. Stories like Snow White and Cinderella i was familiar with, due to watching the Disney films when i was a lot younger. However there were some new to me stories like Bearskin and The Three Brothers. I was hoping that all of the stories were contained in the edition, but unfortunately not. I will be keeping my eyes open for more of the stories.

 

Now, although i enjoyed the book i did find some of the stories a little disturbing for a younger child to read nowadays, as all fairy stories at this time all seem to have happy ending and live happily ever after. For example, Little Red Riding Hood. Where at the end she is gobbled up and dies in this story, maybe nowadays that would be upsetting for a child.

 

I did find some themes reoccurring throughout the stories. The handsome prince, the poor princess, the wicked stepmother, the ugly step sisters, the youngest sibling is always the good one etc. Now i liked all these and thought that these were good parts of the fairy stories.

 

I also thought that these books were very easy to read considering they were written over 200 years ago. I know that i didnt read these in the original language, German, and that they had been made to be easier to read, but i still had concerns that i wouldnt be able to read them very well.

 

This book is really good, well worth a read if you havent already read this.  Plus i would say good for bedtime stories for older children

 

Rating – 4.5/5

Mistress Masham’s Repose – T. H. White

15 Feb

Started – 10/2/12

Finished – 15/2/12

Format – Paperback

 

Challenges – BCF February Reading Circle

1001 children’s Books You Must Read

 

Synopsis – Ten-year-old orphan Maria lives in her ancestors’ crumbling mansion, with warm-hearted Cook and the eccentric Professor as her only friends. Exploring the grounds one day, Maria discovers a wild, half-forgotten island in the middle of a neglected lake – and an extraordinary secret. For the island is home to a community of tiny people – the Lilliputians that Gulliver first met on his famous travels.

 

But as Maria grows closer to her new friends, her own life is in grave danger. Her wicked governess and the cruel vicar are plotting to steal her rightful inheritance – and they will stop at nothing. How can Maria keep the Lilliputians safe, while protecting herself?

 

My Thoughts – I picked this book up because it was the book of choice for the reading circle for February. I thought that it sounded lile a really good book and would that would really hook me in. This book is based on Gulliver’s Travels, a book that i have not yet read, but do have on my TBR pile. I did enjoy this book, however the writing of it was a little bit strange. I know that it was written in 1947, but it wasnt that the language was old, more a little weird. I liked how the little peoples world was described, i would love to visit that world and see how different it is to our world.

 

I liked, than disliked, then liked again the main character of Maria. I thought to start with she came across as a poor little orphan, something that does seem quite prominent in books that i am reading at the minute. Once she started to boss the little people about i really disliked her, she was being a horrible little jealous child. However, once she had snapped out of the phase she became likeable again.

 

You had your typical good guys and bad guys in this book. The good, The Professor and the Cook, and the bad, The Vicar and The Governess. This was quite a good part to the story and how the bad guys wanted to steal the little people.

 

Of course, what with it being a children’s story it has the everyone lives happily ever after ending, which was a good part to this story and i dont think that any other ending would have worked with this book.

 

I enjoyed this book, it was a nice children’s story and i really liked the little people in this story. The only downside was the strange writing, which at times i found difficult to get into.

 

Rating –  3.5/5

1001 Childrens Books You Must Read – 2011 Round Up

3 Jan

Right, so this is my first year properly taking part in this challenge. This is another huge challenge, but as some are picture books, i’m hoping i can make a bit of a dent with this challenge.

Books Read in 2011

1- The boy in the striped pyjamas – John Boyne This is one of those books that everyone should read. It is very good, but very, very upsetting.
2- The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman My first book by this author, but hopefully not my last, i really enjoyed this.
3- The hobbit—J.R. Tolkein This was my first time reading this book and I’m quite sad that i hadnt read it earlier on.
4- The Fellowship of the ring-J.R.R. TolkeinMy favourite of the trilogy, such a supurb set of books.

I am quite disapointed in my progress on this challenge this year, I must do better next year and setting myself a target of 10 books.

Random Stats

Percentage Complete – 4.19

Books on TBR at the end of 2011 – 8

Books on Wishlist – 22

Target for 2012 – 10