Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Salon: Doktor Büks

(The following is in English....Try reading it aloud!)
Vis veek en zee wibrarie
ve haves zee visit frum de famous personne,
Doktor Büks.
Vis doktor vorks on zee büks zat
gits woen en zee wibrarie.
Vis doktor shoes zee shildwen
zee vewy sad büks.

I finished five 1001 Children's Books You Must Read this week:

The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault

I actually read these while I was in France, but I reread a couple of them this week while my online group was discussing them. The online discussion reminded me how dark these stories were, full of violence and terror and unpredictability. The things we face in life, in other words. The things we seek out in books.

 The Story of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit

As a child, I loved books with magic. I was often disappointed to discover that books with wonderful magical titles and wonderful magical covers had nothing magical in them.

This book sounded like it would be magical. It was not, but I liked it anyway.

A family of children hope to restore their family’s lost fortune. They engage in a series of attempts to recover their family fortune including digging for treasure and writing a book, all of which are doomed to failure and yet ultimately result in restoring the family fortune.

I liked this book very much. The children have tremendous fun together. It almost tempts one to have an enormous family in the hopes of finding the companionship seen in this family.

The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

The first Nancy Drew and my first Nancy Drew.

Although it took many, many pages to warm up to Nancy, it finally began to happen. I was at first taken aback by her amazing kindness and hospitality; you do not meet many Nancy Drews in 2010 America and she seemed unrealistic and one-dimensional.

After I made comments of this sort on my blog, all the Nancy Drew fans ganged up on me and urged me to reexamine my thoughts about Nancy with gentler, pre-2010 eyes. So I did. Who wants to risk being beaten up by a horde of Nancy Drew aficionados?

So I will revise my initial impressions of Nancy as a goody-two-shoes to that of a genuinely nice person who has learned to always be kind and helpful to the young and the poor and the elderly. Such a person could exist. Right?

One can only hope.

Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett

Johnny Maxwell is shocked to find that the aliens in his computer game are talking back to him. They are conceding defeat. What can he do? What must he do?

Though this book has apparently been updated (in 2004) from the original story (published in 1992), it probably needs to be updated again. Lots of computer talk and popular lingo that has changed dramatically in the past few years and would leave a modern child feeling a bit clueless.

Skellig by David Almond

I’ve saved my favorite book for last.

I loved this book. I don’t want to write one word more,
except to say that if you like YA fiction,
I think you will find this book compelling.


  1. That was fun trying to read. :) The Story of the Treasurer Seekers looks quite interesting.

    Thoughts in Progress

  2. The copyright date on Treasure Seekers is 1899. No video games for these children!

  3. Oh, that was fun! I was falling off my chair laughing....

    Love fairytales! And Nancy Drew, although I haven't read any Nancy Drews for a long time. I have the first three on my stack; I bought them from Amazon, because I wanted them for my granddaughter. But I do remember really loving The Secret of the Old Clock. I wonder how I'll view Nancy with 2010 eyes.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  4. So much fun in the library last week! I even received an award from a class for "Best Portrayal of a Foreign Doctor by a Librarian Ever". Delightful!

  5. Tu parles vraiment bien français :)

  6. Merci, ifmary! Vous devriez savoir que vous êtes français! (Thank you, ifmary! You should know as you are French!)

  7. You didn't like Nancy Drew?!?! How dare you! ;)

    I'm kidding, because I did a review of the original The Boxcar Children book in which I wasn't enamored with it and received a similar reaction to yours. Personally, I think you should stick to your guns, some books don't translate well into the 21st century. However, on the flip side, I like one of the comments by one of your readers on that original post who said she'd rather not re-read the Nancy Drew series and remember them fondly. I can see the value in that too. I feel the same way about Louis L'Amour and Robert Ludlum novels.

  8. Yes, Nancy was a bit of a disappointment. Often smarter to stay away from rereading and risking that disappointment, I think.

  9. I loved Only You Can Save Mankind. To me the old lingo was part of its charm! I want to read the other two books in the series too. I was curious to see this book on the list, it doesn't seem to me to stand out as Prachett's best work. Though it is the only one I have read.

  10. I liked Only You Can Save Mankind, but I did not love it the way I loved the Discworld series of Pratchett.

  11. Nice selection! I remember reading some of the Nancy Drew books, but not many. I have heard of Skellig, but wasn't sure what it was about.

  12. That was fun trying to read!

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  13. J'aime beaucoup Dr Buks! I wish I could have met her.

    5 books in a week is fantastic progress. I'm just starting on The Treasure Seekers. Still haven't finished The Three Musketeers.

  14. Dr Buks, thanks for all your hard work in the library. I'm just learning how to repair bindings and torn pages!

    I want to read Perrault and Skellig was my first Almond. I read it last year and loved it.

  15. Dr. Buks, you are very clever. Oh, the wonderful hours I spent in the company of Nancy Drew, and George and Bess. I wonder if I would be as enthralled with them today. I still have five from the late 50s, early '60s. I should give them a try once more.


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