Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Review: The Children of the New Forest

The Children of the New Forest by Frederick  Marryat

Rating: PG

Recommended for: Ages 10 and up (interest level)

 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. This is the first annotated edition of a great children's classic, which has retained its popularity since 1847.

This book probably sounds boring, but it was very interesting. Although it is very different, the premise about learning to survive on their own reminded me of Robinson Crusoe learning to use the resources available to him.

Writing: 4/5

The book starts out explaining the history of the time, which I didn't find very interesting, but it quickly went to the start of the story. It was good about putting the history of what was going on during the story in a natural and more interesting way than some books. Other than at the beginning, there were no long rambly passages about it. The author made things that could have been easily been really boring into an interesting story. 

Setting: 5/5

The story is set in England at the time when Cromwell was able to take over England. There was nothing in the setting that seemed out of place and that it shouldn't belong. They mostly spend time in the forest. I don't remember all of the events from this period but I have read about some of them in a different fiction book, so it was interesting reading about these events from a different perspective.

Plot: 5/5
The king is on the run from his enemies and soldiers are looking for him. The Beverleys are on the king's side and are forced to take refuge in the forest, where they are taught how to take care of themselves. Edward wants to fight for the king and it is a goal he seeks to meet. They also run into trouble throughout the story, which does not get intense but is still interesting.

Characters: 3.5/5

 There are four Beverley children but it only focuses on two of them. I think that Alice and Edith should've been developed more than they were. Edward was the most developed of them all and became the main character (the book starts out with a different main character who is pretty well developed). While the characters had different characteristics, I think that they could've been better developed. For an older book, they were well developed. 

It is a good book with a satisfying ending that I would recommend, especially if you like English history.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Movie Review: Nanny McPhee

Nanny McPhee

Recommended For: All Ages

Rating: PG

Mr. Cedric Brown has just lost his wife and is now left with his seven children who misbehave so much that all the nannies have run away. A magical, but fearfully ugly Nanny McPhee shows up and claims she can tame the rowdy children.

This movie was so cute! The other day we watched this because we hadn't been using our Netflix in a while, and oh my gosh, it was adorable! I certainly did not expect Colin Firth to be in it. So weird. But he did a really good job.

Technical: 5/5
This movie was done really well. The CG, the acting, the costumes, all done well and aesthetically pleasing.

Settings: 4/5
The settings were...interesting. I couldn't tell what the time frame was supposed to be, though. The house was painted such weird colors! Probably as a result of the kids somehow.

Plot: 5/5
The plot was very...just wow. It was so magical. And it had a happy ending! (Of course it had a happy ending, it's a kids' movie. Still, though, I was wondering for a bit.)

Character Development: 5/5
The characters were so amazing. Nanny McPhee is very interesting. I really liked the kid that Thomas Brodie-Sangster played. I can't believe he was fifteen when that movie was made! That kid looks so young!

Does he look fifteen in that picture? No? Well, he was! That kid just amazes me. I just can't fathom how much younger he looks than he actually is.
The other characters were really good, too. I really liked Mr. Brown, and felt so sorry for him! Yes, he almost married a nasty woman, but he was doing it to keep his kids out of the workhouse. Poor guy. I liked the kids, too, though they were bratty, and Aunt Adelaide...well, I just can't believe she was Angela Lansbury!

This was a very good movie that I would recommend to everyone, especially naughty children. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Review: This Quiet Sky

This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof

Recommended for: Ages 15 to Adult

Rating: PG (for romance)

There is nothing extraordinary about Tucker O’Shay’s dreams. Go to college. Become president. Fall in love. And pretend like he has enough time to get it all done.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Miller doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when she begins her first day at the one-room-school house in her new hometown of Rocky Knob. But when she meets seventeen-year-old Tucker O’Shay—the boy with the fatal illness who volunteers to tutor her in algebra—she finds herself swept up in a friendship that changes the way she sees the world and a love that changes her life.

 I cried. Just a little, the only book that made me bawl is Bridge to Terebithia, but I, the one who almost never cries over books, cried.

The setting didn't feel quite as authentic to me as Little House (yes, I compared as I read for awhile), but it still felt pretty historically accurate. And once I got into the story, I didn't notice little things that felt slightly modern anymore.

Oh my word, the pain. I'm not quite sure what it was I connected to so much, but this story, short though it is, crushed my heart. I was there. I felt the pain and the sorrow. I feel like crying whenever I think of it.

Tucker. Sarah. Always meant to be. Never meant to be. But it doesn't really matter how much time you have in this world. What matters is what you do with it. Even if you never become President. Even if you never marry the one you love. As long as you do the most you can, you will have done enough.

Now excuse me while I go cry again.