I started reading Water For Elephants in hopes of finishing it before the movie comes out in a few weeks. I think I might actually make that goal which says a lot given my generally slow read speed, and while I'm enjoying the book it's not what I expected. There will be commentary, but I'll reserve it until I'm finished.
In the meantime I received these in the mail:
Let me start by saying when the time came in school for required reading lists, so too came my loathing of reading. I hated most of the books we had to read (I'm looking at you, Catcher in the Rye...) and book report may as well have been a four letter word. Towards the end of middle school I started getting back into reading with the help of Anne McCafferey, but for the most part I fought this part of my education tooth and nail. There were, however, some exceptions, the standouts pictured above.
Allow me to first say that I have had a blessed life with a rich, fulfilling childhood and a family filled with love, support and encouragement. I mention this because the very first thing that struck me like an 18-wheeler to the face when I opened my package of nostalgic goodies I noticed one very pronounced similarity among them:
Lone adolescent against the world. AKA: Not my life.
Hatchet: boy survives disaster, learns to live alone in the woods.
Z for Zachariah: girl survives disaster, left behind by family, learns to live alone in a valley.
Sign of the Beaver: boy left behind by pioneer family, must decide to wait for them or live with the Native Americans.
Island of the Blue Dolphins: girl left behind by Native American family, must decide to wait for them or become a pioneer.
What's up, Same Book Times Four?
That's ok, though. From what I remember of them they are all classics and great reads. I am interested, however, to compare my opinion of them as an adult to their lofty place in my nostalgic memory. Part of me is a little bit scared to read them again for fear of compromising the positive, though hazy, feelings they invoke.
At the very least, even if my memory of them shifts, I am glad to add them to my library and have dreams that one day I'll have a child who will love them as much as I did.