Tag: war

  • The Birds by Daphne du Maurier Short Story Analysis

    The Birds by Daphne du Maurier Short Story Analysis

    “The Birds” is a short story by British author Daphne du Maurier. Alongside Rebecca, “The Birds” remains her best-known work.

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  • The Year Of The Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston and Barbara Cooney

    The Year Of The Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston and Barbara Cooney

    “The Year Of The Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story” (1988) is a picture book written by Dr Gloria Houston, illustrated by Barbara Cooney (1917-2000). You’ll soon realise this picture book is longer than almost all contemporary picture books, which are overwhelmingly pitched at pre-schooler length. This one is an excellent example of a ‘picture book for all ages’, designed…

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  • The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick Short Story Analysis

    The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick Short Story Analysis

    The Shawl (1980) is a short story by American writer Cynthia Ozick, born 1928. In 2014, Joyce Carol Oates joined Deborah Treisman at The New Yorker to read and discuss Ozick’s story. This horrific short story reminds me most of a narrative from another side of the same war: Grave of the Fireflies. Both are about starving, desperate war victims…

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  • The Toys of Peace by Saki Short Story Analysis

    The Toys of Peace by Saki Short Story Analysis

    “The Toys of Peace” (1919) is a short story by H.H. Munro (a.k.a. Saki) and is out of copyright so can easily be found online. This is the opening short story in a collection called The Toys Of Peace And Other Papers by H.H. Munro (and G.K. Chesterton). This volume was published after Saki’s death. Saki died on a battlefield…

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  • My Mother’s Dream by Alice Munro Short Story Analysis

    My Mother’s Dream by Alice Munro Short Story Analysis

    “My Mother’s Dream” is a short story by Alice Munro, and the final offering in The Love Of A Good Woman (1998). This is an absolute masterwork in how to subvert an established narrative trope.

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  • Tomorrow When The War Began Questions

    Tomorrow When The War Began Questions

    The following are some resources I used with New Zealand high school English students some years ago during a novel study of Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden. Posted here in case anyone still finds this useful. How many wars has New Zealand been involved in during the last 50 years? The Cold War (1950 to 1953) Korean…

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  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Storytelling

    The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Storytelling

    So much has been said about Narnia already. Can I add a single thing to the corpus by blogging about storytelling techniques in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? Probably not, but my 10-year-old is studying this novel at school. She’s home sick today. I know the rest of her class is watching the 2005 film adaptation this afternoon…

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  • The Fly by Katherine Mansfield Short Story Analysis

    The Fly by Katherine Mansfield Short Story Analysis

    “The Fly” is a short story by Katherine Mansfield, published 1922. CONNECTION TO MANSFIELD’S OWN LIFE Mansfield wrote “The Fly” in February 1922 as she was finding her tuberculosis treatment debilitating. She died in January of  1923, soon after its publication. Thirty-four seems young to be contemplating old age, and to write about an elderly character with any sort of…

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  • The Woods At The End of Autumn Street by Lois Lowry

    The Woods At The End of Autumn Street by Lois Lowry

    Lois Lowry is an American children’s author, best known for The Giver. The Woods At The End Of Autumn Street is an upper middle grade novel set in WW2 America. The following biographical information feels relevant to The Woods At The End of Autumn Street: Born in 1937, that makes Lois Lowry the same era/age as Liz in Autumn Street. The…

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  • Hud Film Study

    Hud Film Study

    Hud is a 1962 black and white film based on Larry McMurtry’s first novel, Horseman, Pass By. There is a connection to children’s literature here — Patricia Neal who plays the housekeeper was Roald Dahl’s wife. Neal had a severe stroke not long after this film was made. Her recovery meant she had problems with language. The made-up vocabulary of…

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  • True Grit Film Study (1969)

    True Grit Film Study (1969)

    When iconic Australian film critics Margaret and David reviewed the 2010 film True Grit they did enjoy it, but couldn’t see the point of a remake. The 1969 original stood the test of time, so they said. That’s what made me watch the original. Turns out the 1969 film is benign enough to watch with my cowboy-loving primary school aged daughter, who loves it to bits.

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  • Pax by Sara Pennypacker Novel Study

    Pax by Sara Pennypacker Novel Study

    Pax is a middle grade novel by Sara Pennypacker about a boy and a fox who embark upon a mythic journey to reunite after Pax is abandoned in the woods. Structurally, Pax is the middle grade equivalent of Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.

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  • A Long Way From Chicago By Richard Peck

    A Long Way From Chicago By Richard Peck

    A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck is a Newbery Honor book from 1998, set in the era of The Great Depression. An adult narrator looks back and remembers his wily trickster grandmother. This book is one of the most moving and well-written children’s books I’ve read, at once comical and resonant. This is the first of a trilogy.…

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  • The River Between Us by Richard Peck

    The River Between Us by Richard Peck

    The River Between Us is a middle grade novel by American writer Richard Peck.

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  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk Novel Study

    Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk Novel Study

    Wolf Hollow (2016) is a middle grade novel by Lauren Wolk. This mid-20th century story is chock-full of symbolism which makes it great for a novel study. Here I focus instead on the writing techniques, for writers of middle grade. Though moons tend to be massive in children’s books, the moon on this cover would have to be the most…

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