Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Incredible Journey

This month's topic at 5 Minutes for Books' Children's Classics carnival was dog stories. Read more reviews at this month's Children's Classics carnival.

There are so many books I could relive from my elementary years: Where the Red Fern Grows came to mind, but I think that Amanda will have to read that in school, so I thought I'd wait. And then something brought The Incredible Journey to my mind.

It's short (less than 150 pages), so I thought that I'd do it as a read-aloud for the Read Together challenge. However, I was only ten pages in when I realized that would not work. I've realized that one way to ensure success in Reading Together (especially for a book I'm trying to read to both kids) is to cut your losses when it's not going well. The Incredible Journey is all narrative, and full of very descriptive (but not very exciting) phrases. It was not a good read-aloud.

However, I remember reading the book in school and then watching the movie at a school-wide assembly, so I made asked Amanda to read it, and I read it too.

I think that I was remembering the movie (called Homeward Bound) -- where the animals talked (or thought aloud), and that didn't happen. The story is sweet -- about an old dog, a young dog and a cat, who travel hundreds of miles to their home. The young dog and the cat take good care of the older dog, which is a good lesson, but all in all I don't feel like I needed to revisit this one.

I am proud of Amanda (age 10), who did read it, even though it wasn't very exciting. She said it was okay, but she thought that someone a bit younger might enjoy it more.

Even though the language is not dated, it still doesn't read like today's juvenile fiction, but the story is simple, so it might appeal to a high-level reading second- or third-grader. It also could appeal to animal-lovers or nature-lovers. It might be a good crossover for a child who usually prefers to read non-fiction.


Carrie said...

This is all good to know! And even a tip like "cut your losses" is helpful for the future!

Bluestocking said...

I don't think I've heard of this one.


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

You know, I'm not sure I've actually ever read this one. I, of course, remember the movies, especially the most recent remake--Homeward Bound.

Debbie said...

Thre is nothing like a good "Dog Story" is there? Man's best friend and all that. I loved this book. The movie too.

Lindsey said...

I'm sure the best part was having you read out loud to her! I know I enjoyed some books just because my parents read it out loud and it was a nice family time. We read "The Dog Who Wouldn't Be" and "Ginger Pye" together and loved them (more on them in my post). Then of course I read everything I could get my hands on myself. :-) 101 Dalmatians is a really good novel, I liked it better than the "movie".

Cindy said...

I've given you an award-come and get it!