The Westing Game

WestingGame6

NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1979

The Westing Game

by Ellen Raskin

Age: 10+

Interests: mystery, crime, bad behaviour, treasure, murder More

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The Story of the Treasure Seekers

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The Story of the Treasure Seekers: Being the Adventures of the Bastable Children in Search of a Fortune

by E. Nesbit

Age: 9+

Interests: siblings, adventure, family, England, treasure, money

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The Three Robbers

three-robbers

The Three Robbers

by Tomi Ungerer

Age: 3+

Interests: crime, robbers, treasure, orphans, morality, helping others

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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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The Enchanted Castle

The Enchanted Castle

by E. Nesbit

originally published in 1907

New York: HarperCollins, 1992

288 pp, 12 chapters

Age: (read to) 6 + ; (read independently) 8 +

Interests: magic, castles, treasure, siblings, mystery, adventure

Also by this author: Five Children and It, The Railway Children, The Story of the Treasure Seekers, The Book of Dragons

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How I Became a Pirate

How I Became a Pirate

by Melinda Long

illustrated by David Shannon

Orlando: Harcourt, 2003

34 pp.

Age: 3+

Interests: pirates!, ships, ocean, adventure, soccer

Also by this author and illustrator: Pirates Don’t Change Diapers

Also by this illustrator: No, David! (Diaper David series), A Bad Case of Stripes, Alice the Fairy

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Captain Pugwash: A Pirate Story

by John Ryan

London: Bodley Head, 1957

32 pp.

Age: 3 +

Interests: pirates, ships, ocean, treasure

Sequels: Pugwash Aloft (1960), Pugwash and the Ghost Ship (1962), Pugwash in the Pacific (1963) – and many more

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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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Come away from the water, Shirley

John Burningham, author and illustrator

London: Jonathan Cape, 1977

22 pp

Age: 3 and up

Interests: pirates, seashore, boats, treasure

Also by this author: Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, Where’s Julius?, Avocado Baby, Borka

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Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009)


Rated: G
Length: 81 min
Age: 4 +   (because of rats; might be okay for 3)         Commonsense Media sez:  4+

Scary factor: escaping from red-eyed rats is quite scary, but action-packed and moves along quickly. Encounter with trolls is quickly defused as trolls are more goofy than scary, and easily dodged.

Intense scenes: More troublesome for the very young might be moments of high despair for Tinker Bell, and scenes in which she loses her temper with her friends, however she apologies and learns from all trials.

Warning: Excessive Merchandise Alert!

Interests: fairies, magic, nature, adventure, travel, treasure
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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.