Eight Cousins Review

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Summary

A newly orphaned girl is placed in the care of her independent uncle. Teenage Rose must learn to discover her new place in the world as a heiress and educated woman. To assist her in her transformation are several aunts and eight cousins, energetic boys who keep her grounded. As Rose’s journey continues, she challenges those around her to match her generous and selfless ways.

Review

While Eight Cousins will not be immediately gripping to an audience raised in the fast paced world of YA survival/adventure novels and action movies, it has an old worldy charm which will always recommend it to the persistent reader. Alcott’s books are universally charming, which is necessary, given the morals which she is not afraid to preach throughout them. The author claims herself in the forward to the book that it is imperfect, but many perfections can be found especially in Rose’s tender love for her father and uncle and her changing and sometimes challenging relationships with her eight cousins. Although each of the boys has his cookie cutter place in the story, there are some delightful exceptions particularly regarding Mac whose journey to true sight stands out as one of the more endearing parts of this simple tale of a family.

Rating

7 out of 10

Appropriate for all ages.

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Twenty and Ten Review

Summary

The story follows the adventures a small group of twenty Catholic schoolchildren in France during the Second World War. When they receive the opportunity to help ten Jewish children to escape their Nazi oppressors, the children rise to the occasion in an unexpected way. Based off of real life events, this story is filled with charm and excitement while giving a unique perspective on the history of World War II.

Review

This is one of the most unique and charming stories I have ever encountered about World War II. The children in it are very real. They are not perfect, but are incredibly honest with themselves. The schoolchildren’s immediate and unquestioning acceptance of the Jewish children, in particular, is touching as it shows what it is to see a person’s value without first being troubled by prejudices about their race.

Rating

10 out of 10.

For ages 6 and up. Some tension due do the war environment.

New Book?

In honor of the end of the semester, I drew a character tree at work yesterday. I have never been able to produce an idea that might someday become a novel. I am very efficient with words, so I tend to prefer short stories. Yet, I have always had a hankering to write a great work of fiction. Who knows? Maybe I still have a chance.