Waterless Mountain

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NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1932

Waterless Mountain

by Laura Adams Armer

Age: 10+

Interests: American history, First Nations, Navajo spiritualism, life in the desert, religion

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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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Holes

holes

NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1999

Holes

by Louis Sachar

Random House: 1998

233 pp.

Age: 10 +

Interests: mystery, fate, jail, desert, survival, friendship

Also by this author: Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Marvin Redpost series, and Small Steps – a sequel of sorts to Holes, following some of the other boys from Camp Green Lake

Next: the movie version Holes (2003) is very good, and quite faithful to the novel

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Aladdin (1992)


Rated: G
Length:  90 min.
Age: 6 and up         Commonsense Media sez: 6 +

Scary Factor: villain Jafar is creepy and evil; the huge lion creature guarding the treasure is truly frightening; it devours a thief at the beginning, though this is not seen; in one scene Aladdin nearly drowns; villain’s magic in the climax at the end is pretty scary and huge – turning into an enormous snake and then an even bigger genie

Action: Aladdin is continually fleeing guards with swords – played for laughs but may be stressful; the scene when Aladdin’s in the cave is pretty heavy action-and-danger-wise (Indiana Jones-esque)

Bad Behavior: when the sultan is imprisoned Jafar’s parrot tortures him by force-feeding him crackers – this might be disturbing, or maybe just disturbing for adults!; Genie smokes a cigarette at one point

Sex: all females are scantily clad; a few kisses

Racism: many stereotypes of Middle-Eastern peoples and lifestyle; heroes sound American, while bad guys have Arabian accents

Language: very slangy; also name-calling: “stupid” “dumb” “idiot”

Interests: Arabian legends, magic, desert, folk tales, other cultures

Next: picture books of 1001 Arabian Nights, old movies like The Thief of Bagdad

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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.