Smoky the Cowhorse

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NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1927

Smoky the Cowhorse

written and illustrated by Will James

Age: 9+

Interests: horses, cowboys, animals

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Holes (2003)

Holes

Holes

released: 2003

rated: PG for violence, mild language and some thematic elements

length: 117 min.

age: 10+

scary factor: suspenseful scenes with rattlesnake, deadly lizards – nothing a 10 yr old couldn’t handle

violence: two boys fight; one boy whacks a provoking guard in the head with his shovel, knocking him out; in flashback a man is shot (in extreme wide shot – no closeups); Kate then shoots the sheriff in revenge; guards in work camp have guns, but only a lizard is actually shot

language: authentic but rather mild, for teenage boys: damn, hell, crap, Oh, my God… that kind of thing. (According to imdb.com there is one “jackass” but I didn’t even notice it.)

other: flashbacks depict scenes of racial hatred (burning down the school) and vague threat of sexual violence (drunken sheriff tries to force Kate to kiss him)

interests: mystery, desert, prison work camps, bad luck, family history, curses, cowboys, crime and punishment, buried treasure

next: read the book if you haven’t! Holes by Louis Sachar

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Annie Get Your Gun (1950)

Annie Get Your Gun

Colour, Musical

Released: 1950

Rated: Approved (G)

Length: 107 min

Age: 4+  (5 or 6 for fuller comprehension)   (commonsense media sez 6+)

Scary Factor: nothing scary

Violence: a lot of guns, naturally, but all used for target shooting; only one re-enactment of an Indian attack, make sure kids understand it’s all a big circus act and nobody is really being shot; Frank gets mad at one point and punches somebody, but it’s a rather isolated event

Other: racial insensitivity, depicting Native Americans as uncivilized for comic purposes; lots of “ugh’ and “how”-type dialogue

Interests: famous women, history, cowboys, Wild West, circus/theatrical, musicals

Next: for girl cowboys see Annie Oakley (1935), Calamity Jane (1953); for Wild West musicals see Calamity Jane (1953), The Harvey Girls (1946), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954); or visit your library to find historical accounts of the real Annie Oakley and her times

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.