Coral Island (Children's Classics)

by R. M. Ballantyne | Children's Books |
ISBN: 1858135427 Global Overview for this book
Registered by freesia of Perth City, Western Australia Australia on 3/24/2005
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by freesia from Perth City, Western Australia Australia on Thursday, March 24, 2005
A classic tale of action and bravery, apparently. One I should have read by now - I remember a friend comparing it with Lord of the Flies as demonstrating exactly the opposite reactions from boys in an identical shipwrecked situation.

Journal Entry 2 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Sunday, April 24, 2005
Picked up at the breakfast meetup this morning. I've been trying to read more classic children's literature lately.

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Journal Entry 3 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Monday, August 01, 2005
One good thing about having a cold - it's an excuse to spend the weekend catching up on some reading ;-)

This is a wonderfully naive little book, interesting mostly because of its depiction of that fabulously exotic place, the "South Seas" (I remember reading about the South Seas when I was a child, and thinking it sounded like an exciting sort of place - I was seriously disappointed to discover I already lived there!). Ballantyne had never actually visited the Pacific before writing his book, but he'd obviously read widely, because Coral Island reads almost like an inventory of every wild sailor's tale (whether true or embellished) of the dangers to be found in the Islands - there's canibals, hurricanes, volcanos, pirates, tsunamis (at least, I think that's what it's supposed to be), sharks... and, of course, the beautiful native women (once they've been suitably tamed by missionaries, of course). The religious theme is a bit heavy-handed (all natives are nasty canibals who sacrifice babies and place no value on human life (and have untidy villages!) until they are converted to Christianity, when they suddenly become kind and generous people, who wear clothes and have proper houses with nice gardens), but that's pretty normal for children's books of the time.

The main value of this book, though, is as a snapshot of how our corner of the world was imagined in Britain 150 years ago, and that gives it a fascination that perhaps a reader from somewhere else in the world wouldn't feel.

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Journal Entry 4 by futurecat at Alva Rados, Worcester Street in Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Released 15 yrs ago (8/9/2005 UTC) at Alva Rados, Worcester Street in Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Left on the table after tonight's meetup.

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