Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Chidren of Green Knowe and The River at Green Knowe

Lucy Boston’s stories abut the house at Green Knowe are based on her own home, The Manor, at Hemingord  Grey in Cambridgeshire. Her daughter-in-law, Diana Boston , still lives at the house and you can visit by making an appointment. It is full of artefacts that refer to the stories.  
This first story may be the most mysterious. Are there really ghosts of the children that used to live there or are they just in Tolly’s imagination, developed by his grandmother’s insistence that the children really exist? However she is quite careful in the way that she talks about them.  The reader may still wonder whether they are really there.
Tolly has a difficult life. His father is dismissive and his relationship with his stepmother is very difficult. He travels alone to Green Knowe and arrives when there are floods.
His grandmother offers some comfort. They establish a good relationship. He also cultivates a good relationship with the manservant Boggis. There are cosy evenings by the fire where his grandmother tells him stories.  
The ghosts are reasonably gentle, but they can tease and the stories his grandmother tells are full of mystery.  He has a frightening encounter with Green Noah, a topiary figure about which there is a lot of superstition.  
The text is 123 pag
es long and blocked in a close adult font. Peter Boston, Lucy Boston’s son, has illustrated the book.      

Paddington’s Finest Hour by Michael Bond

This is a very difficult book to categorize. It has a respectable spine, it is 136 pages long and it uses blocked text, sophisticated language and a serif font.  It charms young children and adults.  There is possibly quite a bit of content that the very young child will not understand.  Those details are there for the adult who will read to the child. Therefore I’ve coined the phrase “Low-High” i.e. content for younger “readers” but demanding higher reading skills.  

Michael Bond carried on writing the Paddington stories right until his death in 2018.  This is the penultimate Paddington collection.  Most people would look upon the Paddington books as classics. The first was written in 1958.   

As with many of the other Paddington books this volume contains several standalone but interconnected stories.  These are presented in short chapters so are ideal for the end of the school day or bedtime stories.  

Perhaps Paddington charms us so much because he makes us look at life more objectively.            

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

  2012   teen, upper secondary   Key Stage 4, ages 14 -17, Dashner   James, science fantasy, thriller This is the second book in the Maz...