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Author: Henry Clark
Grades: 4 - 8
Children have silly magical adventures
Author: Mills, Claudia
Grades: 2 - 4
Third grade children participate in after school enrichment clubs. Each book features a different child who discovers his or her talents as well as new friendships. In the back of the books is information about that particular skill as well as a preview of the next book.
Various authors
Grades: 2 - 4
Each book highlights a different child in a third grade class and his or her special talents. The back of the books often contain an interview with the author and illustrator that mention various books by title and author which may or may not be acceptable. The books also often contain a preview of the next book which may or may not be acceptable.
Author: Patterson, James
Grades: 7 - 10
Can be suitable for teenaged readers
Teenagers are part of experimental DNA project that gives them wings. Pursued by bad guys, etc. Very engaging and well written . Books are sequential but without a clear conclusion or overall storyline. Violence. Moderate language: crap, etc. 14 year old girl and boy have sporadic romantic feelings and interactions, these can be edited out.
Author: Abe, Julie
Grades: 4 - 6
A girl whose mother is a witch only has a little bit of magic but she is determined to become a full witch and help the realm just like her mother.

Comments are explicit and detailed and are intended for parents to use to determine acceptability for their children. Please read comments - do not rely on ratings alone. Books are reviewed to the best of our abilities, we apologize for any errors.

Review Date Title Rating Mini Series Series No. Comments
06/22/2022 Stowaway Anderson Questionable
Boy on exploratory space ship finds shelter with friendly space pirates
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Student asks regarding aliens: if they have no tongues, how do they make out (would go over most kids' heads).'female' robot sings love songs.Mention of "where to kick someone to make sure they do down and don't come back up" - and how it's not the same for every species, for some it's their armpits. Father kisses mother on the cheekObnoxious guy asks girl for payment in the form of "Just one kiss. 3 seconds. No tongue" (p. 219). Mentioned again when alien does this to the guy instead (220).Father sleeps on couch after mother dies, boy thinks it's because he couldn't sleep on bed they had shared (277).
fart, sexy (out of context), jeez, piss, butt, sucked, hell, BS (initials), crap, jerk, anus, bastard
Street Reality, "Gritty" books
Talk of drinking and being drunk
06/12/2022 What We Found in the Corn Maze and How It Saved a Dragon Questionable
Two boys and a girl discover a book of magic and use it to enter other worlds
Use of words such as H-ll and D-mn are sprinkled throughout the book
Bathroom language and concepts are often used and in the end, are part of the plot
At one point, one character deliberately lies to the other, although he apologizes for it later
06/12/2022 Long Road to the Circus Questionable
Historical fiction - a girl rides an ostrich belonging to an elderly former celebrity
Divorce/Dysfunctional Families
Uncle and aunt are described as dysfunctional; the elderly celebrity's past marriage is discussed with shady overtones
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
A few passing mentions by the main character of boys who are interested in her older sister
References to body parts, some bathroom language
The main character deceives and disobeys her parents to ride the ostrich
05/23/2022 Clash Problematic
Graphic novel. A new girl comes to school and is mean to a girl who tries to befriend her. Shows terrible middos. Eventually, the girl finds out the mean girl is having trouble dealing with her parents recent divorce.. A huge part of the plot revolved around Halloween. No religion but pages and pages of parties, costumes, trick or treating etc. 12 year old girl asks another girl if she is dating a boy. She says no, they are just friends. Many pages in this novel devoted to talk of movies and shows and actors and if they are "cute".Girl communicates with her camp friend using her laptop. Girl invites kids to a movie and dinner to celebrate his birthday.
weird, dorky, cruddy
05/23/2022 Cody Harmon, King of Pets Questionable 2
A boy who struggles in school loves animals finds his moment to shine when his school hosts a pet show. He hesitates to lend his best friend his dog since he is afraid he won't treat him well. This struggle is resolved in the end. One word Halloween. In the back of the book are many facts about dogs one of which mentions a TV show about dogs.
dumb, stupid, weird
05/18/2022 Boogie Bass Sign Language Star Questionable 4
A boy from a large hectic family feels bad about himself since he isn't as perfect as his best friend. In the end he finds out that he has good qualities too. At the end of the book there is mention of a website where children can learn more about sign language. Cartoonish completely innnocent picture of a third grade girl putting her arm on boy's shoulder to comfort him when he is sad.
boy "pees in his pants", dumb, weird
05/16/2022 Vera Vance Comics Star Questionable 2
A girl who feels she has to be perfect in every way to please her single mother learns to relax her standards a bit at comic book club where she finds she excells at drawing comics. A lot of comic book culture including a visit to the comic convention with many "weird" people dressed up as comic book characters. Teachers have tatoos all over their bodies. Brief mention of movies. Boy explains that turtles have been around "for over two hundred million years...since the time of the dinosaurs". At the end of the book a list of comics and graphic novels by title and author which may or may not be appropriate.
dumb, weird, stupid, freak out
05/16/2022 Nixie Ness Cooking Star Questionable 1
A girl who always spent after school time with her best friend has to cope with the change of her mother getting a job and going to cooking club after school. Her best friend now goes to a different girls house and she is afraid she is losing her as a friend. Eventually comes to befriend both girls and makes new friends as well. One sentence mention that girls go to the same church. Girl wonders if an online video of her club will end up with her becoming a star in Hollywood.
weird, dumbest, gross, dumb
05/16/2022 Lucy Lopez Coding Star Questionable 3
A third grader is excited to go to a computer coding club since her older sister likes coding and she hopes to share an interest with her to be close to her. Instead, her sister gets upset that she is copying her. Eventually they work it out. Brief mentions of movies, TV and characters.At the end of the book is a section for children who want to learn coding- various websites recommended which may or may not be appropriate.
dumb. poop (frequent) freaking out, stupid
05/15/2022 What we found in the sofa and how it saved the world Generally Acceptable
2 boys and a girl find a strange crayon and save the world
Divorce/Dysfunctional Families
Vague references to boy's drunk and abusive father
snot.Boy's nickname is Freak
05/13/2022 Kelsey Green, Reading Queen Questionable
A girl who loves to read competes in a schoolwide reading contest. She deals with her suspicion that the best reader in the class is cheating (he isn't) as well as helping the weakest reader to read some books. Many, many books mentioned through out which may or may not be appropriate. At the end of the book is a full booklist of all of the books mentioned. There are also interesting facts at the back of the book about a variety of books which may or may not be appropriate. The principal offers to shave his beard if the school can read a certain number of books but as it seems like they will reach the goal he says that instead of shaving he will kiss a pig. The children get up at the assembly and tell him they think he shouldn't change his mind about that (chutpah?) so he shaves and kisses the pig.
stupid, dumb
05/12/2022 Izzy Barr, Running Star Questionable
A girl who loves to run deals with jealousy that her father attends the sports games of her half brother more often than he attends her events. One word xmas. One sentence that mentions going to church on Sunday. Friend tells the story of a Greek maiden who said she would only marry a man who beat her in a footrace. In the end a man distracted her and beat her so she married him. The back of the book has an interview with the author and illustrator and a preview of the next book.
05/09/2022 Act Problematic
A graphic novel about a girl who decides to take up the cause of children who can't afford school field trips and runs for student council. A lot of preteen boys/girls acting awkward around each other and possibly having a crush. GIrl studies past protests and book shows pictures in the story and a brief summary at the back of the book of gay liberation front protests and queer youth protests. A new season of a TV show is streaming and kids want to do a "marathon" of watching it.
that stinks, nerds, stupid
05/09/2022 37 Days at Sea Problematic
A Jewish girl (non observant Conservative) writes about her experiences on the St. Louis, the ship that left Nazi Germany for Cuba but was not given permission to dock there. Girl looks forward to going to America where she will be allowed to go to the movies even if she is Jewish. Girl wants to sneak out at night on the ship and watch her first "grown up" movie. Boy carries around a rabbits foot as an amulet. Girl recounts the menu- meat and dairy served at the same meal. On the "Sabbath" there are three different services- for the orthodox, the conservative and the reform. Boy and girl kiss and hug goodbye (not overtly romantic). Girl recalls being called a "dirty Jew" and other bad things Nazis did in Germany.
blasted, creepy
05/09/2022 Simon Ellis, Spelling Bee Champ Questionable
A boy who is really smart fears that he is losing his best friend since he always seems to win him. Additionally, he has to compete with a team for the spelling bee and he has difficulty with that. Eventually he comes to appreciate that people with different talents can all contribute. Boys play a lot of video games. Boy has his own TV in his bedroom. Boys tease smart boy and call him "Super Duper Pooper". Mantions of Mary Poppins movie. Boy's family likes to play scrabble and when they lose they say words like "ratfink: and "stinker" in a humorous way. A few book titles and authors mentioned in the back section where the author and illustrator are interviewed. A book character "creeped her out".
dumb, stupid, gross
05/03/2022 Bloom Questionable
A girl who usually behaves perfectly finds a packet of magic seeds that cause her to be naughty and ultimately cause plants to grow out of the townspeople's heads. In the end the seeds transform the culture of the school and the entire town from very restrictive to more free and closer to nature. When principal tries to pave the school yard to build an exam hall girl writes a petiton against it which is quite chutzpadik. One word easter and one word xmas.
weird, suck up, berserk, stupid, freakish, shut up, scum
05/03/2022 Click Questionable
A graphic novel about a fifth grade girl who finds herself left out of groups forming to perform in the school variety show until she discovers her own talent with the help of her aunt (who has multicolored hair). Aunt tells her that soon children in her class will start dating. Boy and girl flirt but mostly it is just hearts floating over their heads.
05/02/2022 Camp Questionable
A graphic novel about two cousins who go to camp for the first time. One has an easy time adapting and making friends while the other doesn't and clings to her cousin. They eventually work it out and enjoy their own individual interests. Many cartoonish pictures of girls and counselors in bathing suits, shorts and other summer clothing. Girl says she loves watching scary movies. At a coed dance boy asks girl to dance with him but she doesn't. Group goodbye hug with girls and boys.
kicking their butts, dumb, cruddy
05/02/2022 Lemons Problematic
After girls mother dies she is sent to a small town to live with a grandfather she never met. She eventually is befriended by a boy who runs an agency that tries to spot bigfoot and eventually comes to love her grandfather and her new town. She calls her grandfather by his first name. She is very sad and thinks often about how her mother died of cancer. Boy says he doesn't have a dad "Mama told me he didn't want to be a father when I was born". Girl visits an old woman" She's old. I mean ancient. Like Jesus old or maybe even older. Who's older than Jesus? G-d I suppose". Girl is nervous about her grandfathers driving skills "I silently repeat parts of the Our Father prayer that I can remember from church. Mama and I only made it to church on christmas and easter and sometimes good friday." Mentions of old time singers by name. Girl says a boy has the "greatest dimples". Boy is "cutest boy on the planet". Boy turns the color of "marachino cherries" when girl is around "because he sent her a note asking her if she wants to be his girlfriend... NOw they dont' talk or look at each other or anything". Kids make fun of boy and girl who are friends by calling them boyfriend and girlfriend and singing the KISSING song. Girl thinks boy gives girl a bouquet of candy becuase he "loves" her. Boy's father went missing after fighting in VIetnam. Eventually find him hiding in the woods since he had PTSD. Brief description of "peeing in the woods". Mentions of watching television. Boy explains that bigfoot is a mother and he knows because she has "extra girly parts up top" and he blushes. Woman explains to girl that the rift between her mother and grandfather was caused by grief. Mentions of TV reporters. When girl discovers that classmates have always been mean to the boy who befriended her she stands up to them and puts a stop to it. One word Halloween.
weird, weirdo, dope, stupid idiot,butt, what the heck?, stink, dumb
05/02/2022 A Ceiling Made of Eggshells Not Acceptable
A Jewish girl in Spain experiences the anti Jewish sentiments prevelant just before the expulsion. Many questionable Jewish references and practices and thoughts about G-d- for example, girl often thinks G-d is angry with her for her typical childish thoughts, girl is sure her grandmothers amulet is what protects the wearer, girl is sure stars guide her llife. Many many mentions of yoshka and details of christian beliefs and philosophy. Girl has a difficult and complicated relationship with one of her brothers who is quite mean most of the time and eventually converts to christianity. Girls loses some siblings and a beloved grandmother to the plague. Her grandfather becomes very dependent on her and doesn't allow her to marry since he needs her to travel with him . Mother is dysfunctional and says hurtful comments. Wealthy family tries to protect fellow Jews from the church by buying the church things like an expensive alter. Grandfather and granddaughter eat treif and drink wine when dining with influential goyim. Preist comes to synagogue at every holiday to tell Jews how horrible they are, how yoshka curses them, how they will burn etc. Girl often wonders if christians are correct in their beliefs and if she would like converting and becoming a christian. GIrl begs G-d for a sign so she should know if she and her family are meant to convert or not (other than her brother they don't ) Family marries her to a boy much younger than her to protect her, but it is never a real marraige since he is still a child and they eventually divorce.
stupid, stinking, hell
04/27/2022 The Girl and the Ghost Not Acceptable
After her evil grandmother dies a pelesit ghost attaches itself to her young granddaughter who gradually finds out that the ghost has a dangerous dark side until she eventually sets him free and finds out more about her past and why her mother is so troubled. Mentions of book "A Wrinkle in Time". Mentions of Star Wars movie and plot and characters. Mention of movie Pinnochio. Girl has a laptop and TV and DVD player. Mention of bullys and a lot of detail of the ghost taking revenge on people who are not nice to the girl and when it is jealous of girl's budding friendship.Many ghosts. Girls gossip about teacher who was seen with a boyfriend at the cinema. GIrls watch a romance movie which is very "sappy". Mother falls asleep in front of a "flickering TV screen".
stinky, ear boogers,weird, freaked out, stupid, jerks, damn , buttocks, shut up
04/19/2022 City Spies - Forbidden City Generally Acceptable 3
Boys and girls work together to solve mystery. Some friendly negiah.
04/19/2022 Final Warning Problematic 4
Bird kids spread the word about climate change
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
can be edited: 44-46, 108-111, 114, 125, 154, 159, 164-165. More in preview of next book, at end of this book.
Crap, etc.
descriptive violence
04/19/2022 School's Out Forever Problematic 2
Bird children try to save the world
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Intermittent romantce, can be edited: 129-130, 148-150, 161-163, 194-198, 298-299Women's undergarments in store: 287
: crap, dumbass, etc.
Violence, some extreme
03/07/2022 Amari and the Night Brothers Questionable
An African American girl growing up with a single mom refuses to believe that her brother who went missing is dead. Mean girl bullies her since she is poor and in school on scholarship. Then she receives a nomination to attend a camp run by a secret government agency that deals with supernatural occurrences and proceeds to try to find the bad guys, her missing brother and to save the world. Girl creeps down the stairs "as if I am hiding from a bad guy in a scary movie". Boy tells guys to leave a girl alone- they joke about them being boyfriend and girlfriend (they aren't). A few one word mentions of xmas- no religion. Girl remembers that when she was a child her parents separated and her father didn't show up for her birthday with the promised bicycle. When her mother called on the phone to find out where he was "I heard my daddy's drunken voice say, "{she probably ain't even mine. Tell whoever her real daddy is to get her the stupid bike". Boy from the neighborhood comes up to the roof late at night and explains "Ma's new boyfriend don't like having me arond so I come up here till they fall asleep". Girl says a man has a "dreamy voice" girl blushes. Boy takes girls hand and they stand like that for a long time.
butt, dumb, weird, stupid, heck, dorky, freakish, creepy, freak, blasted, idiot, shut up
03/07/2022 Amira & Hamza The War to Save the Worlds Questionable
An Indian American brother and sister go to an Islamic astronomy exhibit and accidentally become involved in a magical journey to save the world. The girl is very into science and there is a lot of scientific information throughout as the girl attempts to figure out how all of the magical experiences she is having are possible (she often can't). Boy spends his time comparing their adventures to cartoons- titles, plots and characters and superpowers referenced. Many Islamic sayings and philosophy referenced- mostly neutral. Girl says her mother watches "the news and swearing at the TV when she doesn't think we're listening to her". Boy names a horse after his "celebrity crush". Girl grew out her hair becuase she wanted to be Rapunzel for Halloween which is bsed on a persian story of "a beautiful girl who unfulred her black hair from a tower so the boy she loved could climb up and see her because her parents didn't want them to get married. Mention of a movie about a quest to find the holy grail. They pray a few times but no description. In the back of the book there are explanations for the terms used which include detailed legends and nythology about fairies and creatures as well as information about historical figures who are mentioned.
gross, stupid, nerds, kick your butt, nerd, weird, dang it, puke, freaked out, dumb, heck (frequent), butt, creepy, snarky, snot nosed, shut up, I was pissed, stink
03/07/2022 Thornghost Questionable
A boy who is a troublemaker lives on a farm with his grandmother since his mother died a few years earlier (the story of her dying is mentioned often- very sad) . His mother appears to him in very scary nightmares and strange things are happening near the farm. Boy befriends a wild lynx and they end up in a different world inhabited by animals who belonged to children and then died (quite different from hashkafic belief of olam habah). Boy and lynx team up to save the world from scary fantasy creatures. The people built a cemetary with a chapel "to anchor their souls". Animal says "when our humans die, we don't linger. We leave. Become travelers.. where do you go? No one knows.Travelers leave in the middle of th enight and there are no bodies or anything."
stupid, idiot
02/13/2022 Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch Generally Acceptable 2
A girl with a little bit of magic goes on a quest to save the land from a master witch who is causing terrible destruction out of misplaced love for his daughter. She teams up with her best friends, a boy and a girl (nothing romantic).
weird, shut up,dumb
02/08/2022 City Spies - Golden Gate Generally Acceptable 2
Group of orphans continue spying activities.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Male adult gives thankful/comforting hug to child.Adult friends give friendly hug.
Girl is obnoxious to mean mother in public.Child spies are instructed by adults to lie under oath, and they do.
02/08/2022 CIty Spies book 1 Generally Acceptable 1
Group of talented orphans work as spies for MI6.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Passing mention of adults flirting, dating app - page 163.Male spy is code named "Mother" but no gender issues involved.
01/30/2022 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror Classic
All comments are related to the Penguin Classics Edition. There are several short stories in this volume after the main story. A doctor invents a potion that causes him to transform into an evil being that represents his worst self and commits all kinds of crimes with impunity. This edition also contains shorter stories by the same author - The Body Snatcher and Ollala as well as A Chapter on Dreams and a scientific review of the story. Introduction- mentions titles of various works of horror fiction which may or may not be appropriate. Mention that some of these stories were written for the "Christmas ghost story market".pxviii- damnable young manpxix- "But what was this unspoken bad fancy tacitly understood by both Utterson and his client? These circumstances appear to be carefully plotted to point to, without actually specifying a suspicion that some erotic attachment is at the bottom of Jekyll's relationship with Hyde. Blackmail and homosexuality have a long history of association...blackmail attempts involved a threat to expose a man as a homosexual, whether or not he wer in fact gay...Oscar Wilde himself had been subject to a number of blackmail attempts, most of them by rent boys with whom he or his lover... had consorted..."pxx-"A suggestion of homosexuality provides a plausible hypothesis ...of course Stevenson could not describe or directly refer to what was called 'unnatural" and deemed unspeakable in the pages of prose fiction designed for a popular readership;, but he could, and perhaps did manipulate the expectations and suppositions of his readers who could not complain if their own imaginations had supplied what Stevenson had refused to actually state..." "...the use of legal and medical procedures and forms of knowledge (which apart from pornography, constituted almost the sole place where homosexuality was discussed in print)..."xxi- "That Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is something more than a shilling shocker, a creepy tale for Christmas 1885...the story has a much larger and deeper interest...it is a marvelous exploration into the recesses of nature... a parable with a profound allegory...based on the two fold nature of man...taught to us by the apostle Paul in Roman7...his tale provided the text for the sermon preached from the pulpit of St Paul's Cathedral...it is a fight between good and evil, duty and temptation, in the human soul, a story as old as Genesis."xxiii- Jekyll conceives of Hyde as his lower element. Whilst this is principally a moral or even metaphysical designation, it is also strongly suggested that Hyde is also lower on the evolutionary scale..a less upright individual evokes suggestions of the simian.. ape like fury... ape like spite, his bestial nature and remarks about how hairy his opposite is. This inference eventually culminates in a frightening vision of primordial immorality...this emphasis on criminality or sinfulness being a primitive condition or impulse corresponds with that found in a number of writings from the period which employed evolutionary models to understand criminality and mental disorder.xxiv-"In short, Hyde is the physical expression of moral lowness according to post Darwinian thought".xxv- "Jekyll attempt to make an absolute division between the respectable and the disreputable, the righteous and the libertine,, the social and the sensual/sexual. xxxiv-comparisons with other novels listed by title and author which may or may not be appropriateStrange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde:p7- hellishp7-damnedp9-damnablep35-what an assp53-your sight shall be blasted by a prodigy to stagger the unbelief of Satanp64- the spirit of hellp67- child of hellThe Body Snatcher- a man is hired to pay for the cadavers used in medical school but eventually discovers that they are actually murder victims but he does nothing to stop itp73 - man had some "fleeting infidelities"p88-hellOlalla- a man goes to the mountains to recover and falls in love with the daughter and discovers that his hosts have a strange secretp97-suspicion that man and women didn't marry and their children are "bastards"p118 very descriptive about mother- "passive sensuality"p119- very descriptiveabout his feelings for the girl "eyes exchanging salvos of attraction" etc.p120- man wonders if what he feels for women is love or "brute attraction"p121- girl goes to the man who stretched out his arms "she leaped to me and clung to me"p124-125 man is injured and girl cares for him-he goes into detail about how he perceives her - for example- "I saw the faultless face and through the robe the lines of the faultless body" "the touch of her smooth hand lingered"p126- he kisses her handp126- she tries to convince him their relationship isn't meant to be "What am I then...if not a curve in this poor body of mine (which you love, and the sake of which you dotingly dream that you love me"p132- "it was there that one of my comrades sold himself to satan; the virgin sheild us from temptaions! He has paid the price; he is now burning in the reddest place in hell"p133- girl kneels to pray before a crucifixp134- references to yoshka as "man of sorrows" "friend of the distressed" "rays of glory encircled it"Diagnosing Jekyllp154- a multipage essay about "sexual perversion" connected to the Jekyll and Hyde story
01/07/2022 Vanished! A Framed Novel Questionable
Boy and girl who are friends, solve mysteries by looking for small clues. Running story of girl trying to find her parents who abandoned her when she was born.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Friendly negiah between boy and girl, no romance. Adults are boyfriend/girlfriend, no romance
Passing mention of C____ the Redeemer statue
Boy intentionally allows mean boy to cheat off his test - because he knows he has a different test with different questions
01/07/2022 Trapped! A Framed Novel Questionable
Boy and girl solve mysteries using small clues. Boy and girl are very close friends, several mentions of this.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Page 105 (can be torn out): Explicit mention that girl's parents gave her up for adoption because they couldn't get married because people don't approve of blacks and whites having babies together. (Elsewhere in books topic is discussed but without mention that they weren't married).Affectionate negiah between adults.Mention of adults who are boyfriend/girlfriend.
01/07/2022 Framed!: A TOAST mystery Questionable
Boy and girl who are close friends, solve mysteries using a method of looking for small clues
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Boy notices that a boy in the museum is interested in a pretty girl, not the art. FBI agents pretend to be boyfriend/girlfriend; girl says maybe they should try it out for real.
heck (once)
11/18/2021 Billy Budd Classic
A young sailor who is liked by his peers is framed for treason. He punches his accuser and accidentally kills him, thereby being convicted and hung. This happens despite the fact that the captain and the court all feel that he is innocent. They convict him to follow the rules of martial law and to ensure that the other sailors don't think they can get away with things. Can lead to discussions about following rules or conscience- which would have to be monitored carefully. A few allusions to religion, but since they aren't explained, they will likely go over the head of most ignorant readers.A young sailor who is liked by his peers is framed for treason. He punches his accuser and accidentally kills him, thereby being convicted and hung. This happens despite the fact that the captain and the court all feel that he is innocent. They convict him to follow the rules of martial law and to ensure that the other sailors don't think they can get away with things. Can lead to discussions about following rules or conscience- which would obviously have to be monitored carefully. A few allusions to religion, but since they aren't explained, they will likely go over the head of many ignorant readers. In this edition, Tom Doherty Associates, the foreward (pg. x) mentions that some scholars compare this to the life of yoshka "in spite of Melville's life long skepticism about religion- and the perceptive reader will pick up on the frequent Christian symbols and images such as references to Calvinism and the Holy Writ, Claggart's elemental evil, and Billy Budd's acceptance of his fate, his ascension into the "soft glory of the fleece of the lamb of g" etc. and later mentions (pg.xii) that "Billy's acceptance of his fate is as essential to the novel as C's acceptance of the crucifixion to the Christian story.". Comparision of captain telling sailor he was sentenced to die to Abraham telling Isaac (chapt 22 pg 91). When the captain announces to the crew that the sailor was sentenced to be executed "Their captain's announcement was listened to by the throng of standing sailors in a dumbness like that of a seated congregation of believers in hell listening to the clergyman's annoncement of his Calvinistic text." The ship's chaplain comes to talk to the sailor before he dies - he is called a minister of yoshka. The sailor is compared to the barbarians in history who took on christianity (chapt 24 p97) which continues (on p98) talking about seraphs/angels. The priest understands that he shouldn't talk to the convicted man about "thoughts of salvation and a savior" since he wouldn't understand. Brief mention that the priest's role was to put a religious stamp of agreement on the decision. As he is killed "the vapory fleece hanging low in the east was shot through with a soft glory as of the fleece of the lamb of god seen in a mystical vision" (chapt 35 p102)
11/04/2021 The Dawning of the Day: A Jerusalem Tale Classic
A Yerushalmi Sephardic man with deep, sincere faith in G-d makes his way through a changing Jerusalem. He is comfortable with many types of people both Sephardi and Ashkenazy, scholar and simple. Many, many references to BIblical and Talmudic commentaries. The author is a Rosh Yeshiva in Maale Adumim.. Although this is a short but slow moving read, there is very little objectionable. The man's brother in law is a scholar at Hebrew University who analyzes medieval Hebrew poetry, but still seems to be a believing man.
10/22/2021 Heart of Darkness Classic
Page numbers are from Roads Classics Edition. A European man travels to the Congo to pilot a steamship for a European company gathering ivory and riches. He witnesses terrible brutality in the way the company treats the natives, and how Europeans act when they are far from civilization and not bound by the usual niceties and code of conduct. He looks forward to meeting a certain European at one of the outposts but when he arrives he discovers that he had turned himself into a diety for the natives and murdered people and put their heads on posts. There is a description of a tall native women involved with this man- it is implied she is his mistress, but it is not said outright. The man had a fiance in England. p32 niggersp36 stupidp39 man thinks of someone as a "chattering idiot"p55 refers to a man as "that ass"p76 gory and detailed description of a man killed by a spearp107 stupidp115 stupid
10/13/2021 The Empty Grave Problematic 5
In the final book in the series, the children finally figure out what is causing the uptick in hauntings and proceed to destroy the causes despite great danger. There is a sme romance when the boy gives the girl his deceased mother's necklace that was a symbol of his father's "undying devotion" to his mother- also minor romantic negiah between them- stand next to each other "shoulders touching.", when they are both upset he "put his arms round me and pulled me to him...we stood like that for I don't know how long. I would have been happy for it to go on longer." Describes the "other side" as "I guess it had other names too which people in the old religions and the ghost cults use. But from what I saw it wasn't a heaven or a hell; just a world very similar to our own, only freezing cold and silent and stretched out under a back sky. The dead walked there, and it was their home..." Something called ectoplasm "represents the part of you that survives-that passes from one side to the other. You can call it your essence, your life force, whatever you want. It doesn't decay. It doesn't die. It doesn't really change." Story of a ghost who was once a "cruel and wicked woman... who wrapped men round her little finger...the popular papers of the day were full of stories about the rich marrired men who'd fallen for her, and all the wives she'd wronged.. she never stayed with her lovers for long, and discarded them like candy wrappers." Now , as a ghost, she has power over "addled young men".
stupid, idiot, berserk, oh hell, hellishly early, darn, dumb, shut up, bloody (as an expletive), weird, drat, heck of a lot, freaked out, butt
10/11/2021 The Creeping Shadow Problematic 4
Girl leaves agency to become a freelance agent since she is afraid she is putting her friends' lives in danger. Eventually, she goes back to working with her friends. Horrible story of a man who was a cannibal and ate his neighbor. Boy comments that a jealous skull is acting like "a jilted lover". Discussion about Greek gods. DIscussion about an ancient cross in a graveyard with an engraving of "the gatherer of souls" with a depiction of the last judgement- no explanations. Boy and girl grab each other's hands when scared and then after, realize they are still holding hands- quickly drop them. Children spend some time on the "other side" where souls go after they die- it is cold and colorless and scary.
shut up, idiots, weird, hell on earth, freak us out, maniac, stupid, dumb, punk, bozos, what the heck was that,
10/10/2021 The Hollow Boy Problematic 3
Children continue their adventures as they try to solve dangerous hauntings. A new girl is hired causing the experienced girl to be very jealous of her - tries to come to grip with her feelings after she saves her life. Sometimes girls and boys grab each other's arms when scared but not romantic. People often hold an iron crucifix to ward off ghosts. Department store featured belly dancers (no description). Boy "let out a giggle" as he shook pretty girl's hand.
weird, hellhole, idiots, shut up, what the hell, hell of a lot, stupid, berserk, bloody idiots, going to hell, sure as hell, all hell's breaking loose, heck,what the hell..., drat, it would be hell, a darn sight too many, creepy