2nd Review: The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd

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Book Information:
The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday
Published in 2008
ISBN 9780385530842
353 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

4 out of 5

2ND REVIEW. 1ST REVIEW IS HERE.

After Victor Frankenstein goes to London to study at Oxford, he meets Percy Bysshe Shelley. They become fast friends, but with Shelley’s radical views, will Victor get an idea that will put him on the road to darkness?

This is the second time I’m reviewing this because I want to. :X Actually, I’m re-doing some (most) of my reviews so that I can make them (hopefully) better. With this one, I will compare it to the original a little bit more.

Anyways, in this retelling of Frankenstein, Peter Ackroyd makes it out so that a fictional character actually knows historically accurate people. I still find that part of this part kind of intriguing, and it also made this book rather interesting than if the author just told it through Victor Frankenstein’s and a little bit from his monster’s perspective. However, now that I read the original, I don’t know what perspective is better since they both were interesting, so they both get equal points for that.

Although how both Mary Shelley and Peter Ackroyd told the story receives equal points, the descriptions and the growth of the characters actually goes to Peter Ackroyd. With Mary Shelley’s, it is mostly someone re-telling Victor Frankenstein’s story as Victor tells him it, so the growth and descriptions really don’t have that much room to grow. So, basically, I like how Peter Ackroyd tells it because the way he makes the characters grow appeals to me more than the original. Also, in Ackroyd’s version, the person who turned out to be the “monster” was someone Victor Frankenstein knew and maybe even friends with. I found that also very interesting and even gave the monster even more of an identity than Shelley’s version. The characters are also completely different in Ackroyd’s version. It has the same thing happen to a character in each book, but the circumstance and character are off. I also like how Ackroyd did his version in that aspect as well since it had a little bit more depth and development than the original.

Let’s see, some other things that are different, but I wish Ackroyd put in his version. In Mary Shelley’s version, I actually felt like crying and feeling pity towards both Frankenstein and his monster. However, with Ackroyd’s version, it had less emotion. Also, the ending is more disappointing and confusing than the original. The ending in the original is more emotional and appeals more to me.

Now that I had a chance to read the original, I think it would have been better if some of the original’s aspects, like some of the emotion, were in this book. So, I rated it a four stars this time because, despite the original re-telling thing, I like the emotion and ending of the original Frankenstein more.

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

Goodreads 2011

Re-Reading:

This is the 2nd review, 1st review is here.
Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Peter Ackroyd
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet New York Times Book Review
$New_Bullet A Study of Reading Habits

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Review: The Trojan Horse by Emily Little, Illustrated by Michael Eagle

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Book Information:
The Trojan Horse by Emily Little
Illustrated by Michael Eagle
Random House
Published in 1988
ISBN 0394896742
48 Pages

Series Information:

Step into Reading (Level 5)
Not a real series, and you can read them in any order.

Review/Rating:

2 out of 5

A simple retelling of the Trojan War and how the Greeks won this war. The city of Troy lives in wonder, with a stonewall protecting it, while the Greeks live on rocky land and can’t grow wheat. In order to get wheat, they have to trade with Asia, but they can’t get past the channel because Troy won’t let them pass without paying the toll (gold). After the Trojans kidnap Helen, Menelaus’ wife, the Greeks declare war on Troy. The war goes on for years, until the Greeks finally have a plan to defeat Troy, which involves a wooden horse.

The facts in the books are all really simple and not really interesting, so it is not as engaging as I would like it to be. They pretty much had all the information that you most likely remember from school, so it won’t really expand your child’s knowledge on the subject. From what I remember when I was little, this book mentions almost the same information as what is in the history book, just less pictures. Also, even though the illustrations seem to be pretty, there seems to be less than the previous Step Into Reading book I have read. The artwork also looks a little bit blander than the Trail of Tears‘ illustrations.

I think it would be more interesting if I read it myself, but the purpose of the children’s book is to have your children read it to you. However, you help them when they having trouble with a word or page or have questions. Basically, you need to definitely participate reading with them with this one because of the names, but I found it boring. It had too many details of the history for little kids, at least to me. >.>” Also, go over the pronunciation guide with your child, which is at the book of the book, FIRST before having them read it since most of the words will be hard for them.

Where I Got It:

Bought from Amazon, and I still own a copy.

Challenges Apart Of:

Goodreads 2011

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Emily Little
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet Collingswood Public Library

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: The Trail of Tears by Joseph Bruchac, Illustrated by Diana Magnuson

%TheTrailofTears

Book Information:
The Trail of Tears by Joseph Bruchac, Illustrated by Diana Magnuson
Random House
Published in 1999
ISBN 0679890521
48 Pages

Series Information:

Step into Reading (Level 5)
Not a real series, and you can read them in any order.

Review/Rating:

3 out of 5

#Old_BlueBooks-3_5

Through simple explanation, the author explains the history behind the Trail of Tears and the challenges that the Cherokee Nation faced during this time period. Chief of the Cherokee Nation, John Ross, and his people (17,000) must leave their homes and go west. During this trying time period and journey, a lot of deaths and hardships will befall them.

The information given is pretty much interesting, which one of the reasons why I like the book, and even some of the history I don’t really remember that well. The hardships that they are faced and the history facts are not really watered down, but phrased in a way that won’t have your kids ask questions you wouldn’t really want to answer when they are still kind of young. If your kids don’t understand that we have done bad things in the past, you might have some explaining to do. Now some of the interesting information they give are about Cherokee legends of how their people came to be, the legend of the Cherokee Rose, which is thought to come from the Trail of Tears, the Cherokee written language and the newspaper, and some other pieces of information. Basically, it is kind of like a miniature history book with fun and interesting information, but I wouldn’t count on it for tests and things like that since most schools depend on their history books for making tests. It’s also great if you want to give a head start for your kids about the subject before they start on it in school. Another reason why I like this book is because of the illustrations inside the book. They are some pretty, and I liked looking at some of them. :D

The only thing I didn’t like the book is the boring parts and not enough history/facts to keep me personally interested, which is the main reason why I rated this book a 3 out of 5. However, it is a good little book that will tell your kids about the Trail of Tears before they learn it in school.

I would recommend this book for kids who are having difficult time learning about the Trail of Tears and need a little bit easy way of explaining the basics of what happened during that time. However, I wouldn’t depend solely on it for their school projects. Also, make sure you read it with them because some of the words they will have trouble with like the Cherokee language and maybe some other things. But, it is pretty much easy to understand.

Where I Got It:

Bought from Amazon, and I still own a copy.

Challenges Apart Of:

Goodreads 2011

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Joseph Bruchac
$New_Bullet Diana Magnuson
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet Back to Books

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble