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Elske and other Kindom books

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  • David Lenander
    At some point (after July 15 if I finish reading all of the non-fiction scholarship nominees by then), I ll have to try to write about the Voigt books.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 27, 2000
      At some point (after July 15 if I finish reading all of the non-fiction scholarship
      nominees by then), I'll have to try to write about the Voigt books. But--one little
      point--I don't think that Elske is actually raped, though certainly the situation
      and intention was present, and as it was, of course, there was a violent multiple
      murder/suicide instead to cover up her escape. I'm not sure that I really wanted
      Claire to read this at her present age, so when she wanted to read the
      MFA-Children's nominees, I wasn't entirely enthusiastic. She did seem to enjoy
      _Jackaroe_ (and I'm not sure I even wanted her reading that one, there's plenty of
      violence in that book), and of course she ripped through Harry Potter last year in a
      coupl e of days, and she's now in Tris's Book. So we'll see, if she reads the rest
      of Circle of Magic (as seems likely) and Skellig, how far she gets in _On Fortune's
      Wheel_. I wondered about the different Innkeeper's daughters as protagonists in
      both of the first two books, too, but I think it's almost unavoidable in that the
      families are connected via the Innkeeping family heritage. Certainly, the
      adventures are quite different. And the themes of the first two books are quite
      different. Children and violence is an important theme of the books, and it is not
      gratuitous, I think its something that needs discussion with the child reader,
      though. We see the impact of the violent upbringing on Elske in the way that she is
      so inured to feeling, ready to kill babies as an act of mercy, and later, still
      ready (in consequence) to kill a baby that is inconvenient or dangerous to her
      mistress. However, she develops feelings for babies and other people and manages to
      avoid the simple expediency of killing the inconvenient child. (The plot
      conveniently provides an alternative, I'll grant). I think the shorter book,
      _Elske_ may be the least convincing, though in some respects its the best-plotted,
      and it certainly ends up with a sort of happy ending for almost everyone. But the
      best book may be the exploration of heroism, not only the hero but those surrounding
      the hero-figure, and the legacy of that heroism, and how the inheritors of that
      legacy must respond and act, in _The Wings of a Falcon_. I think of _The Kestrel_
      by Lloyd Alexander, but few other books explore some of these issues, and I can't
      really think of many adult books that manage to consider such issues or provide such
      sensitive and believable characters.

      Berni Phillips wrote:

      Boy, talk about different strokes for different folks! I found the

      > Voight books so incredibly boring, I couldn't imagine how they even
      > got on the first ballot, not to mention the second. I also found
      > _Elske_ highly inappropriate for the children's award, beginning as
      > it does with a brutal rape of a young girl. I would never give such
      > a book to a minor. And, of course, they're not fantasy and "the
      > kingdom" is incredibly generic. I think they're poorly written (as I was
      > reading _On Fortune's Wheel_, I was struck as to how much it felt like
      > _Jackaroe_) and I've read all too many things like these and better.
      > I enjoyed the Pierce Circle of Magic books, but they were much less
      > satisfying
      > than the Harry Potter book. (I did think that _Skellig_ and _The Folk
      > Keeper_
      > were very fine, though.)
      > Berni
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > Was the salesman clueless? Productopia has the answers.
      > http://click.egroups.com/1/4633/8/_/505012/_/962068115/
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org


      David Lenander, Library Manager I

      University of Minnesota Bio-Medical Library Access Services

      Diehl Hall / 505 Essex SE, / Mpls., MN 55455

      Phone: work: (612)626-3375 fax: (612)626-2454 home: (651)292-8887

      e-mail: d-lena@... web-page: http://umn.edu/~d-lena/OnceUponATime.html
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