Wednesday, May 6, 2015

2015 Summer Reading Suggestions - Week 2


This week I'm going to include a very old CLASSIC from the 1800's! Yep, that's right! I read THIS book when I was about 8 and just starting to read on my own comfortably.

Princess and the Goblin.jpg#1 - The Princess & the Goblin
by George McDonald (1824-1905)
ISBN: 978-0060095529
Purchase on Amazon for $3.99-9.99 here

About the book:
She immediately took off her ring and put it under her pillow. As she did so, she fancied she felt a finger & thumb take it gently from under her palm... and then, feeling with the forefinger of her right hand, (she) soon found her grandmother's thread, which she proceeded at once to follow...

Irene is still a very young princess, but she must grow up quickly when she and her mountain home are threatened by goblins who dwell below it. Fortunately, while the goblins are busy planning their attack, Irene's mysterious grandmother is also busy spinning her a magic thread which will always lead to safety. Even so, the Princess & her loyal friend Curdie, will need all of their courage & ingenuity to outwit the cunning goblins.

(My original review:) Irene is 8 years old and a princess living in a country house and bored with all her toys (after being stuck indoors for several days and no other children to play with) begins to wander the house. Eventually she becomes lost walking down corridors with lots of closed doors and after walking up several flights of stairs until she comes to one last staircase that leads upwards - where she hears humming.

She eventually meets Curdie, the little miner (all of 12 years old and already working) who saves Irene and her nurse who get lost on the mountain after dark (her nurse was told by Irene's King-Papa to NEVER have her out after dark - and of course this one time they are VERY late). Curdie discovers a plot by the goblins to find a "above world" princess for Hare-Lip the Goblin prince and off the story goes.

The book is filled with much adventure and your children will empathize with Irene's boredom with her life and Curdie's adventures underground will stir their imaginations. It's an outstanding book for kids 8+ and even grown ups like you and me!

Many of the lessons that Irene learns in this book are lessons that children would of learned as a matter of course several generations ago. Honesty, Obedience, Trust and Faith and more. The writing is older of course, the book was originally written in 1872, but it's easy to read and written as though George McDonald is telling the story himself. There are small paragraphs and sections where he is referred to as "Mr Author" and he refers to every little girl as a princess. And as we all know, little girls ARE princesses right?

Why is this STILL one of my favorites?
I could talk about how I love George McDonald & haven't read a single book of his and been bored. I could talk about how I love the classics, the writing and how they make me think. I could write about how this was one of the first books I ever really "connected" with (and that's a Very Good Thing) - but I won't do that.

The Princess & The Goblin is one of the FIRST Princess stories - the same class of writing as A Little Princess, The Secret Garden and The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. It's a book that should be on every child's bookshelf - Girl or Boy. When I reread it again a few years ago I was surprised that there is a mystery involved that includes a bit of a TANG of fear - not only the children in the story are scared of what is outside in the dark of night - even the King Papa is scared and that feeling really brings this story to life. Your little ones shouldn't have night mares over this story - but it will bring questions, will be a great introduction to one of the GREAT writers and introduce your children to Quality Writing & Storytelling. Please read this story with your kids - you can read it while the kids are doing the dishes, on a rainy afternoon or as a bedtime story - its a perfect re-aloud story!

I first received this book when I was about 8 years old and just starting to enjoy reading. I have enjoyed George McDonald ever since and have read many of his books some for children and some for adults. Other books you might enjoy that I have enjoyed are:
  • Sir Gibbie, also called The Baronet's Song (my favorite of all his writings)
  • The Marquis of Lossie
  • The Princess and the Goblin
  • The Princess and Curdie
  • Donal Grant
About George McDonald:
Learn more about George McDonald here:  The Inklings
George McDonald was born in 1824 and was one of the most beloved Victorian authors throughout Great Britain and the US. He wrote over 50 volumes (children, adult and also theological) over the span of his life. Originally a Scottish minister he eventually retired and continued as a poet, novelist w/ a very vivid imagination!

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Regardless I only recommend products or services I have personally read or used & think my readers will enjoy. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing.

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