Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Oxford Book of Adventure Stories

The Oxford Book of Adventure Storiesedited by Joseph Bristow

We've been participating in our local library's summer reading program. Grace signed up first thing and the boys mocked her until they saw the movie ticket she got as a half-way prize then they ran to join up too. Now I've got them reading all over the place.

Thank you public library, thank you.

But one thing they've let me read to them is this wonderful book, The Oxford Book of Adventure Stories which I got at a used book store for a couple dollars last year. As the title would suggest, it's full of stories of adventure about such wonderful things as man-eating tigers, pirate sieges and jungle warfare.

Everything a budding young adventurer would find interesting, it's in there. They're arranged chronologically starting with Edgar Allen Poe's "MS Found in a Bottle" all the way to Margaret Atwood's (one of two women represented in the anthology) "Death by Landscape."

We've been checking them off one by one and so far we've been through H. Rider Haggard's "A Tale of Three Tigers" which had all the drama you'd expect from a title such as that, plus Bram Stoker's "The Red Stockade" which particularly wowed them when the pirates stuck their enemies' heads on pikes, and Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Isle of Voices" complete with Hawaiian witch doctors and mysterious magic.

There are also stories by H.G. Wells, Jack London, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, Zane Grey, and Ian Fleming plus other assorted greats that deliver spies, World War I flying aces, big game hunters and draft dodgers. Some of the language can be difficult for younger audiences so that if my boys were to read it themselves they'd struggle a bit but having me read aloud to them where we can stop and explain difficult words or archaic expressions helps with their comprehension and keeps them going with the plot.

And best of all? With short stories you can finish one in half an hour then put it down until next time. One complete story, start to finish, that satisfies like a complete meal rather than picking away at chapters over months. You never have to wonder where it was you left off or try to pick up characters' names again, things like that. Wonderful for summer reading.


Here's a list of the 50 Best Books for Boys and Young Men at the Art of Manliness if you're looking for a longer menu and some of them are duplicated on my own list of Great Read Aloud Books for Boys. You might also see Raising a Reader and Activities that Encourage Reading as well. Summer is a great time to pick up a new book.

Sponsored by Dimples and Dandelions for Serena and Lily baby bedding.


Shannon said...

Thank you! I will be looking at the list of books for boys just as soon as I am done with this packing thing. 2 of my boys are just at the stage where they are transitioning from picture books to chapter books and I am always looking for ideas of books to buy.

Patricia L said...

Couldn't agree more about the library's summer reading program. It's a huge motivator for my 6 yr old. (side note: noticed on your twitter feed it looks like there was some discussion about the write away contests???? :) )

Scribbit said...

Yes, I've had people asking if they're coming back but for several months there I had low participation. It went from 50+entries to where I was having a hard time making 20. It's a bit of work to get the sponsor, then the topic and judge and everything so I decided to give it a break for a bit.

If I thought people were really interested in participating then maybe I'd think about bringing it back but there have only been a handful who have asked.

Chrissy said...

Thanks so much for the link to the Art of Manliness! What a great site.

Daisy said...

For boys: look for books by Jerry Spinelli or Gary Paulsen. Many adventures, many sports stories, and all very accessible to readers of many ages.

daysease said...

I wish I could do that!! Thanks for the info!

Have you ever read Jackaroo or The Scarlet Pimpernel together?? Two of my personal favorites!!! Cannot wait till my kids are old enough to get into these. I also have The Black Arrow (Robin Hood-like)... The Count of Monte Cristo is another that we liked growing up.