Thursday, December 5, 2013
Since I hope to be adding to this information ... I might try to fit this somewhere else on my blog ... but for now ... it's here :) Over the past couple years, I've been reading some FREE books ... kindle books and nook books ... and wanted to start keeping track of them somewhere. I began reading these free books primarily because I wished to preview them for my kids.
Just so you know ... to some extent, you get what you pay for, in that some of the digital copies have many errors ... and this would likely pose a challenge for less experienced readers. For example, one book (exiles in babylon?) usually had "li" in places where it should have been an "h".
Also, many of these older books are british so there might be some things that are foreign, especially to younger readers. And ... the a_ _ word was an acceptable word to them back then??? I don't know ... but anyway ... I think I've come across it a couple of times.
Finally, my age guesstimates are obviously unscientific ...
Ishmael -- Excellent. Probably 15+ or 17+ largely due to the romance in the beginning ... however the stories about Ishmael as a young boy ... his unscrupulous character ... are great for younger kids. I read those chapters out loud when the kids were 13, 11, and 7 ... they found Ishmael to be a most interesting boy.
Self-Raised -- This is the sequel to Ishmael. Also good. Enjoyed Ishmael more though.
Hidden Hand -- Okay ... a little long. Ages 15+. Can't remember much right now. There was some weird stuff I think. Please leave me a comment if you read it so I can update. Sequel is Capitola's Peril ... also okay ... don't know if I ever finished it though.
Cobwebs and Cables -- Excellent. Powerful story about how choosing sin might first affect us only like thin cobwebs but eventually will bind us in strong cables. Main man character has some serious financial troubles in the beginning and then decides to pretend he died. Starts out pretty slow and kind-of "dark" ... but don't let that dissuade you :) 12+ maybe??? Although I think my oldest son read it at age 10 ...
Lamplighter -- Very good. Cute and sweet main character. A little long in places and a fairly meandering storyline ... but good overall.
Little Meg's Children -- Don't think I read this ... my oldest daughter really liked it though and thinks it's good for all ages. 8+ if an advanced reader.
Sailor's Lass -- I don't think this is a "lamplighter" title ("lamplighter" author maybe???) ... but it is a cute, rather short, story about a shipwrecked orphan girl and the family that takes her in.
Jessica's First Prayer -- Good ... just one goofy theological issue that I can't recall right now. Ages 8+.
Prisoners of the Sea -- Excellent. Ages 13+??? Not sure on the age range as there is death, violence, pirates, attempted murder ... but I wouldn't say it is bloody or gratuitous ... rather matter of fact. Awesome plot with lots of action.
Exiles in Babylon -- Excellent ... quite a few errors though. Teenage boy falls into getting drunk at a party ... some "friends" work at keeping his glass full of wine to accomplish this. The drunkenness ... and being in the wrong place ... bring him further trouble. And even though the boy repents ... he still has to bear the consequences. Good lessons on not putting oneself in a position of temptation. 13+?
The Crew of the Dolphin -- Excellent ... 10+. Not too long. Young boy offers to sacrifice himself so that his older brother (who has a wife and kids) can be saved.
House of Love -- It was great until the last 15% or so ... when it got amazingly corny ... a man was searching desperately to discover the owner of a beautiful voice he'd heard singing, certain that she was a soul-mate ... this story later pointed out that this is folly to fall in love with a voice ... but of course he ended up with her anyway. His father also remarries in the book and there is very little development of this relationship pre-marriage ... seems really sudden. And the a word is used near the end by the father and it made the father appear tacky and juvenile. All in all ... because of this junk at the end ... I probably wouldn't recommend this book in the free nook version. It is, however, a Lamplighter title so maybe Mark Hamby cleaned it up some in his editing of the book. Nonetheless ... if I was going to read it aloud again ... I would have ended it when Doris was finally going to be free of the Wilde house and about to go abroad with an older widowed relation of hers ... as the bulk of the story where Doris is a young girl is really quite interesting and Doris is a great example of loving ones enemies. This section of the story is suitable for younger children.
Prisoner of Philippi -- Just started. Awesome so far. It begins with a partial page scanned ... which is confusing. Also, early on it mentions how life is so hard some people purposefully fall on the sword, etc..
Peep Behind the Scenes -- Good so far ... stopped midway through to read aloud on a road trip.
Tom Gillies -- Excellent ... however I read it in a Lamplighter version ... so I can't speak to the nook book. A story about the knots that are created from telling lies. 8+ or 10+ (It's been a long time since I read it so I'm pretty unsure about age recommendation.)
Christmas Child -- Good. Short. Ages 12+?
Alone in London -- Good ... ages 10+ ... sweet story. Mentions the pleasure of pipe smoking at 37%.
The Little Preacher -- All ages. Loved it! Fairly fast-paced story about a farming family with four children ... bad neighbors ... and two opposite grandmothers. A difficult/hard father becomes soft/loving.
Fred and Maria and Me -- short story for all ages. nephew swindles his aunt and later tries to make amends.
Hester Morley's Promise -- somewhat mysterious. a tad hard to get into ... but worth it. interesting in that the devastation of adultery is portrayed without any glamorizing of the sin. seemed to end abruptly though ... tried to find a sequel. 10+??? 12+???
Posted by Dana at 10:38:00 AM