Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review: Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight

Book Description:
Twelve-year-old Joe Carraclough is heartbroken. Lassie, the family's beloved collie, must be sold to the Duke of Rudling, a bad-tempered, wealthy old man. The Carracloughs are struggling through hard times and can't afford to keep Lassie, who is without a doubt the finest collie in Yorkshire.  
The Duke sends Lassie to his estate in Scotland, four-hundred miles to the north, but Lassie will not be kept away from the family she loves. By instinct she starts the long journey south to find the home where she belongs.  
Filled with danger and adventure, this is the story of the love and loyalty shared by a boy and his dog. First published in 1940, the legendary Lassie Come-Home is sure to warm the hearts of yet another generation of readers.
My thoughts:
Since I can remember I have been pretty adamant about not reading animal stories. When I was in 5th or 6th Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight was required reading for my literature book. I wasn't too happy about it and if it wasn't that my grandma had a collie I probably wouldn't have even tried it. It ended up that I really liked the story and since then have always had fond memories of it.

Fast forward 25 years or so (ouch, that hurt to admit!) it showed up on the kids' free list for school. I definitely wanted to read it aloud and we were finally able to get around to it.

Lassie Come-Home tells the story of a dog's loyalty. A loyalty so strong that even separated from her master she makes a long and dangerous journey to come home. Even when she is side-tracked by sickness, physical barriers, and new friends she is not deterred in coming home.

I think what makes this story so appealing is that unlike other animal stories where the main animal dies, Lassie doesn't. Yes, she did have her moments of hunger and sickness, but she survives. Another is the story of Joe Carraclough's family and in their struggle to survive. Set during a time of economic depression, Joe's family is struggling just to eat and keep a roof over their heads. Also, Joe's father has to teach his son that being honest is the most important thing a man can do.

If it sounds like the story is pretty serious and maybe too sad, don't worry! There was plenty of humor instilled that kept the story from bogging down. If you don't get enough humor there you definitely will when you try to read with a Scottish brogue and it just doesn't seem to come out right.

Overall, Lassie Come-Home was a well-liked story that is a good pick for both the animal lovers and non-animal lovers alike.

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  1. Oh, this looks good. My parents didn't really read to me all that much so what I know of Lassie is from reruns that I watched on television. I hate to admit this, but I had no idea that Lassie Come-Home was a book first. This is fantastic to know! Thanks for sharing this with Read Aloud Thursday. I'm looking forward to reading this to my son when he gets a little older. :)

  2. It's good to know that Lassie survives the tale! ;-) I know what you mean about all animal stories being too sad to really enjoy, though I'm actually such a proponent of a good catharsis that I don't mind too much. I'll definitely keep Lassie in mind, though, as one I can probably get through without sniffling.

    I'm so glad you linked up to RAT!



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