Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lassie Come-Home - Book Review

Emma and I read together almost every night.  She gets more or less books based on how quickly she gets ready for bed.  (We've found that this kind of reward system takes most of the stress out of the nighttime rituals, by putting the responsibility on her and by having a reward that really matters to her.)
I've started insisting on one chapter out of a chapter book as one of the "books" for each night.  So far we've finished lots of Magic Tree House books, The Wizard of Oz, and now Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight. 
This book was far too difficult for Emma to read alone - lots of big vocabulary and English or Scottish accents.  Sometimes, I had to rephrase some of the difficult parts or check for comprehension, but mostly she was able to follow along quite well.  When we got down to the last 50 pages or so, she was super excited to read every night. 
Eric Knight shows an incredible knowledge of both dogs and humans.  As Lassie makes her long journey home, we are treated to a tour of humanity and British culture between the World Wars.  We see gripping scenes of families struggling with poverty and yet maintaining a great generosity of spirit, but we also see other individuals or groups who have hard hearts and quick hatred. 
For all with elementary children, or for anyone who wants a good heart-warming story, I gladly recommend Lassie Come-Home.  It's not earth shaking, but it is very good.  The Josh rating: JJJJ.
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