The Little Prince

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“One day, the author reminisces, when his plane was forced down in the Sahara, a thousand miles from help, he encountered a most extraordinary small person. “If you please, ” said the stranger, “draw me a sheep.” And thus begins the remarkable history of the Little Prince.
The Little Prince lived alone on a tiny planet no larger than a house. He owned three volcanoes, two active and one extinct. He also owned a flower, unlike any flower in all the galaxy, of great beauty and of inordinate pride. It was this pride that ruined the serenity of the Little Prince’s world and started him on the interplanetary travels that brought him to Earth, where he learned, finally, from a fox, the secret of what is really important in life.”

This very small book is a rare gem. It’s fable-like narration and insightful simplicity  combine to create a timeless and enchanting story. Saint-Exupery’s writing is disarming and inviting, as soon as I read the dedication, I already knew it was going to be a winner. It is at the same time wise and philosophical as well as poetic and funny. A must-read that, in it’s own very unique and renowned way, reflects on what really matters in life.

Recommended to any reader, children and adults alike. 4 stars.

 

To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

Scout Finch and her older brother Jem, spend their days in a small, sleepy town in the American South. Their adventures, including terrorizing the mysterious occupants of the old Radley House, are set against the story of their father, Atticus, battling for the rights of a Negro man accused of rape.

I wanted to read this classic after I read Jasper Jones because it referred to Harper Lee and Atticus Finch the whole way through. It took me some pages to get used to the more classic style of language, but Lee’s writing makes the characters and their 1940’s, deep south, little town come to life. I was swept along portions of the book, carried by suspense and curiosity, while at other times I needed a bit of resilience. Written in the 1960’s, the social and political context of the story is paramount and it’s innocent narrator unveils the complexities of growing up amidst the prejudices and inconsistencies of the adult world. It is a beautiful coming of age story about family ties, loyalty, prejudice, racism, tolerance, understanding, and what it means to be a ‘man.’

Recommended for readers ages 15 and up.  I’m giving this poignant novel 4 stars (it’s a classic!).