Sunday, April 4, 2010

#56 The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Forget what you know about Baloo the Bear. He’s not the “Bear Necessities” singing, Disneyfied bear you think you know. In Kipling’s book, Baloo knows it’s a jungle out there and makes sure Mowgli the Man Cub knows it too. If it weren’t for Baloo and the black panther, Bagheera, Mowgli would have been the wolves’ dinner when he was but a little baby. Instead he is allowed into the pack on Baloo’s word and Bagheera’s offering. Mowgli lives by Jungle Law and becomes a friend to all animals, except Shere Khan the Tiger. Mowgli seems easy prey to Shere Khan, but Baloo has taught Mowgli the bare necessities of survival.

#55 The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

“Nothing gold can stay” –Not true. Ponyboy Curtis stays golden, even after his best friend Johnny’s run in with the Socs puts Ponyboy in an unbelievable situation. The whole thing was an accident. The Socs had beaten Johnny so badly, that he’d cried like a baby when his gang of Greaser friends found him. When the Socs cornered him and Ponyboy again, Johnny’s instincts told him there was only one thing he could do. He buried his switchblade deep into the Soc whose ringed fingers had torn his face apart. But Frost is partially right. Ponyboy stays golden, even after Johnny is gone. Johnny couldn’t stay, but he was golden too.