Another Horatio Alger book read. I’m catching up on my Good Reads 2020 Reading Challenge deficit.
In Alger’s The Young Adventurer, teenage Ben’s a new orphan at 14. His mother died when he was young and now his father’s just died. The $400 he inherited won’t last forever and there aren’t many opportunities in his hometown so though his uncle would like him to stay with him, Ben sets off to New York to make some money. He plans to earn enough to get passage to California where he can make a fortune mining gold.
Like a lot of Alger’s heroes, Ben encounters some swindlers, and luckily manages to avoid them with his funds in tact. Then he lucks out and meets and heiress in distress who asks him to accompany her to California and pays him to locate her fiancé. The adventure continues.
While the story offers a likable hero and plenty of villains, I wasn’t as enthralled as usual. The Young Adventurer is dated in its treatment of a Chinese character. The language of the era came off the way old Charlie Chan stereotypes do. Alger isn’t on the side of the bigots and those bigots probably were presented authentically, but I couldn’t stomach those chapters even though King Si, the Chinese miner, ends up doing well. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend this book to kids. Now maybe they should read about how people people discriminated and hurt others as that is the real history, but I’d find another book to recommend.
Written and illustrated by Tim Egan, The Pink Refrigerator is a charming book that tells the story of a mouse with the love of the cosy and familiar that reminds me of a Hobbit. Dodsworth owns a second hand store and loves running his store and living a predictable life where the main form of recreation is television.
One day Dodsworth acquires an old, pink refrigerator. He plans to sell it but becomes intrigued by its magic. You see, one day Dodsworth goes to the fridge to get rid of it, but he’s surprised by a note that says “Paint Pictures.” Inside the fridge there are all the supplies needed to paint.
Day after day, the fridge challenges Dodsworth to get outside his comfort zone and do something new and creative. Before you know it, Dodsworth’s transformed. It’s a cute, cosy tale that inspires.
I almost forgot that I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). So I’ve decided to write a novel in a month. I’m sticking with my plan to adapt a screenplay I’ve written, which is a girls’ adventure story.
Today after my library class I remembered I meant to sign up. So I had to hurry to get my words done. I got 1700 or so, which is a good start.
What I wrote today was all new. I’mm too tired to elaborate, but watch this space for more updates.
“The test of an adventure is that when you’re in the middle of it, you say to yourself, ‘Oh, now I’ve got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home.’ And the sign that something’s wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure.”
Lois Lowry’s The Willoughby’s is a a cute, charming book about three “old fashioned” children with big vocabularies who wish they were orphans like Pollyanna, Jane Eyre, James from James and the Giant Peach or such. Their parents are churlish much like Matilda‘s. It’s an entertaining read that pokes fun at many children’s stories with tongue in cheek humor. I did wonder if many kids would get the jokes and if the story would satisfy those who didn’t.
This story though isn’t as good as the one’s it pokes fun of. While reading, I never got caught up in the characters, I was always aware of the author’s cleverness.