Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer of Classics: Captains Courageous

I am so glad I left Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling for the last installment of my Summer of Classics reading challenge.  This was such a fun story, with a great moral.  A spoiled brat of a kid is lost overboard and picked up by a fishing boat just out of Gloucester heading for the Banks.  Harvey can help fish or he can starve.  He chooses fishing - which leads to grand adventures and lots of growing up.

Everything about this book appealed to me.  I love adventure stories.  I loved the imagery supplied by Kipling.  I loved the language, with dialogue written as one would hear it spoken.  The characters were all fantastic.  And it was perfect to read during the summer, just when the boats are out fishing.

I remember picking up this book to read one summer, somewhere around age 12.  I remember reading a few pages, and then putting it down (even though I swear up and down that I've never not finished a book).  I couldn't get past the dialogue.  I loved the phonetic spelling now, as an adult, but I think it was too much for me to decipher back then.  This is a children's book, but that doesn't make it an easy read!

Not even three chapters in, I found myself routing for Harvey.  I knew he'd be faced with a tough decision when he got back to land, and I hoped he would make the right decision.  As for Disko Troop, I can't imagine a better father, for anyone.  What an awesome role model!  Don your sou'wester rain gear and pick up this book.  You won't regret the few hours it will take you to read Captains Courageous.  Kipling is the best!