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Five Children and It (Five Children #1)
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Five Children and It > Five Children and It - Week 1: Chapters 1 & 2

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message 1: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 4 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1109 comments Mod
I have just completed the first chapter. I am amazed at the freedom the children had to roam and wander around. In our land (USA), children are not allowed to wander off on their own. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/natio... and an update: http://wtop.com/montgomery-county/201...

We definitely have gravel-pits and chalk-quarries fenced off with large "NO TRESPASSING" signs in abundance.


message 2: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 4 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1109 comments Mod
I am pretty sure I did not read this as a child. I'm not sure if it wasn't available or if it was by choice. As a young, but avid reader, I did not like books with long descriptions and this book starts out with about 4-5 pages of descriptions, such as "...the thorny, thistly, briery, brambly wilderness beyond the broken gate."


message 3: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 4 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1109 comments Mod
I like how the author gets rid of the parents quickly. "Father had to go away suddenly on business, and mother had gone away to stay with Granny, who was not very well." The mother did not take the baby with her!


Carol (carolfromnc) | 633 comments ☯Emily needs to protest again wrote: "I like how the author gets rid of the parents quickly. "Father had to go away suddenly on business, and mother had gone away to stay with Granny, who was not very well." The mother did not take the..."

This reminds me of how immediately Disney has to eliminate parents from every story, in order to make it possible for the child-adventurers to have the opportunity to encounter threats and make decisions without the protection if an adult to make everything turn out alright.

I was reminded many times in these chapters that making older kids entirely responsible for toddlers. The servants appear to be devoted not to childcare, per se, but to food prep, cleaning and household safety, at least given the rigor of her response to the beautiful children endeavoring to sneak into their own home.


message 5: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 4 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1109 comments Mod
Jane gives the moral of Chapter 2 when she is overwhelmed by the weight of the gold. "You've no idea what it's like," she said; "it's like stones on you - or like chains."

Too much wealth can become a burden. Many get consumed with the thought of losing it and end up not using it appropriately or enjoying it.


message 6: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 4 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1109 comments Mod
I loved how the author got the children released from the police, by having the gold disappear at sunset.


Carol (carolfromnc) | 633 comments ☯Emily needs to protest again wrote: "I loved how the author got the children released from the police, by having the gold disappear at sunset."

Yes! They were incredibly lucky here.


Ginny (burmisgal) | 184 comments The entire adventure is possible because the family gets out "deep into the country, with no other houses in sight." "The White House seemed to them a sort of Fairy Palace set down in an Earthly Paradise. For London is like prison for children, especially if their relations are not rich."

This freedom to wander is unfamiliar to the children, and the reader feels so much wiser than they are. I am always thinking--noo, don't do that! It makes the story very interactive.


Carol (carolfromnc) | 633 comments Ginny wrote: "The entire adventure is possible because the family gets out "deep into the country, with no other houses in sight." "The White House seemed to them a sort of Fairy Palace set down in an Earthly Pa..."

This is a great point. I also loved how secure they felt being together as a group, as if there's nothing they couldn't tackle together. I am so accustomed to reading about dysfunctional families that I appreciate this respite of a group of children that act authentically with one another, but fundamentally give each other a sense of belonging and safety.


message 10: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 4 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1109 comments Mod
But the children are not angelic, but have realistic squabbles all the time. I hated books when I was a child where the kids seemed to be perfect.


Ginny (burmisgal) | 184 comments ☯Emily needs to protest again wrote: "We definitely have gravel-pits and chalk-quarries fenced off with large "NO TRESPASSING" signs in abundance..."

I think they were considered dangerous then, as well. I think that is intentional--the reader knows it's dangerous, but the children don't, so they are not afraid. Although they do know "The gravel-pit is not really dangerous if you don't try to climb down the edges, but go the slow safe way around by the road.." They know there is a real possibility that they could be forbidden to play there, so they don't say where they are going.


Carol (carolfromnc) | 633 comments ☯Emily needs to protest again wrote: "But the children are not angelic, but have realistic squabbles all the time. I hated books when I was a child where the kids seemed to be perfect."

I agree. I also hated books when I was a child where siblings were always at each other's throats or were over-the-top mean to each other. The interactions in this book seem more typical of groups of siblings that are close in age (within 6 years give or take from oldest to youngest).


message 13: by Kimberley (new)

Kimberley Challman | 19 comments ☯Emily needs to protest again wrote: "I have just completed the first chapter. I am amazed at the freedom the children had to roam and wander around. In our land (USA), children are not allowed to wander off on their own. http://www.ny..."

This is something that has always caused me to feel somewhat nostalgic for the 'good old days' when when reading certain children's literature. I grew up in a small community in Southern California and was afforded a certain amount of freedom after I got to a certain age, but it was nothing like I have read in some books. Especially so since my father was a sheriff. But, when I read books to my children, I felt bad for them, knowing there was no way I would let them go off and do the things that they heard other children doing in books. Even some American literature I read to them (Little Britches, Summer of the Monkeys, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Sign of the Beaver come to mind) offer a view into a childhood that does not seem possible anymore depending upon where you live. Even my dad tells stories of how he and his best friend would leave as teenagers on their bikes with a bologna sandwich, peddle 20 plus miles to the beach, and be gone all day. I was their worrisome mom who could only think of everything bad that could happen. I can't imagine raising children and having them be off all day, never knowing where they are or what they are doing.


message 14: by Kimberley (new)

Kimberley Challman | 19 comments Carol wrote: "☯Emily needs to protest again wrote: "But the children are not angelic, but have realistic squabbles all the time. I hated books when I was a child where the kids seemed to be perfect."

I agree. I..."


Their spats do seem realistic, especially for their age. The spats seem to pass quickly and all is well. I enjoyed Robert's waking Anthea by dripping a wet towel over her head and the author's describing his behavior as "little accomplishments." When my daughters would complain about their big brother's "little accomplishments," I always told them he was simply "brothering them."


Ginny (burmisgal) | 184 comments Kimberley wrote: "☯Emily needs to protest again wrote: "I have just completed the first chapter. I am amazed at the freedom the children had to roam and wander around. In our land (USA), children are not allowed to ..."

That's what books are for.


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