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» Thursday, July 11, 2002
E-Books Read Lately:
Brother and Sister: Children's book from 1916 that makes the old Bobbsey Twin books (the original ones, before they solved mysteries), look like Nancy Drew. At least in the first Bobbsey Twin book, Freddie's locked in a department store overnight, Bert is called down for fighting and fears he might be accused of breaking a window, there's always the specter of bully Danny Rugg, and there's supposedly a ghost in the house. Nothing even this exciting happens to Roddy and Betty!
Dr. Syn: a Smuggler's Tale: Look, I knew Disney would have "cleaned" this one up when they turned it into the adventure The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, but this book is truly bizarre. The adolescent lead is fascinated by hangings and builds his own gibbet, there's a crazy madman who had his tongue cut out by a pirate, the Scarecrow's second-in-command is a coffin maker who likes to sleep in his coffins...
The Air Service Boys Over Enemy Lines; or The German Spy's Secret: Second of a series of six books about two young Americans fighting with the Lafayette Escadrille. You can tell just what kind of a book it will be when in the first ten paragraphs the two protagonists, Tom and Jack, sum up action in dialog that sounds like a bad radio series narration. Lots of period reference to the "gallant French" and those nasty Boches, and the boys get to rescue a plucky 12-year-old American girl and her mother, kidnapped by a German relative.
Bruce: Actually, I have the book, but I hadn't read it in a while and downloaded the e-book version. Terhune tells a much better World War I story than Charles Amory Beach, he of the Air Service Boys, making his prizewinning collie Bruce a messenger dog in the trenches.
The Outdoor Girls: A series the mythical "Laura Lee Hope" (The Bobbsey Twins) wrote for girls. There's Betty Nelson, the practical one, Grace Ford, the one who loves candy, Mollie Billette, the girl with the quick temper (she's French, you see), and Amy Stonington, the shy one. In one book they have adventures on a motor boat given to them by Betty's uncle, in another they spend part of their vacation at a mountain lodge. Pleasant stuff, although the mysteries they solve are so transparent you can see into the next county.
Just started The Go-Ahead Boys and the Racing Motor Boat.