Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kit's Wilderness by David Almond

I thought this new book showed promise of being boy-friendly. No such luck. This book shouldn’t cross the threshold of your home let alone into your tween’s imagination.

It not only reeks of darkness, it skips straight to the occult. Askew is a 13 yr. old boy who acts like a high priest amongst a select group of middle-school children who play a game called “Death” after school in an abandoned coal mine pit. The narrator of the story, Kit, is drawn into Askew’s after-school game when Askew catches him at school, looks into his eyes and informs him, like a prophet, that he is “one of them” and will join them and “see.”

He soon joins their game. Below ground, they gather in a circle, spin a knife, and the “winner” of the spin kneels before Askew, who’s dressed appropriately in his black Megadeath T-shirt. After chanting lines such as “We truly wish to die,” Askew waves the knife, then puts his hand on their heads, closes their eyes, presses their eyelids, and they fall down, supposedly “dead.”

The other children climb out and wait until the “dead’ person resurrects. Just in case you’re still missing the occult imagery, there are demonic creatures carved in the sides of the cave walls (alongside angels, as though there were no difference) and a pile of supposedly human bones. Also, Kit, in between a couple games of Death, has a conversation with his grandfather where his grandfather tells him about when he was a child and he and the village children would dance around the village monument to the dead children who died in the mines, and they would recite the Our Father backwards.

When Kit plays the Death game and “dies,” he wakes up able to see the dead, former pit- children. He is then informed by Askew that he will be “seeing more now.”

That was just one-third of the way through the book, and I’m done. It's too dark for me to continue... However it turns out, it's not able to redeem itself.

Safety Rating: DaVinci Pile


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