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?"

To find more books by your favorite author, click on the author's name in the title...

Also, try searching by "historical fiction" if you're looking for novels at a certain time period...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gib Rides Home by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Gib arrives at the orphanage at a young age, too young to have many memories. He doesn’t even know how he lost his parents.

As far as orphanages go, his is not a bad one. Gib spends a lot of time dreaming his “Hope” dream: the house and family he would like to have. The reality is that the orphanage has poor food, lots of chores, and strict punishment with only one truly caring adult to pass love onto a large group of boys.

Still, Gib is a calm, collected boy. He bears up under the unfair punishments his demeanor seems to attract from the new and mean-spirited headmaster. Finally, he is farmed out to a family. This is a family whose mom wanted to adopt Gib because she knew and liked his mother. But the father does not approve. At his new home, Gib takes care of a beautiful horse, and we see what a natural horseman he is. But soon, he is sent back to the orphanage; whether or not he gets to return to his new and far-better situation is the climax of the story.

This solid and likable story is a tribute to the author’s father who actually went through a similar experience. I almost gave it a 3 Flag rating, but I just have to caution parents that one of the boys in the orphanage is farmed out and makes his way back to the orphanage sick, nearly frozen, and under threat of having his hands cut off by the owner who sent him out in the snow without mittens, risking frost-bite. Later, he dies of pneumonia. I don’t think the descriptions of orphanage life is too much for most tweens, just be aware. Also, while no details are given, it is clear that the marriage where Gib is farmed out to, is not a particularly happy one.

Safety Rating: 2 Flags

Historical Fiction: 1909


Post a Comment

regina was here

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008