Monday, April 2, 2012

The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh

The Green BookTitle: The Green Book
Author: Jill Paton Walsh
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) 
Release Date: September 1st 1986
Age Group: Middle Grade/Children
Rating: ♥♥♥♥ [4]
Source: Bought
"We are at Shine, on the first day, " says Pattie, when, as the youngest member of the group, she is given the honor of naming the new settlement. Refugees from the dying planet Earth, they, along with other ships, have been sent into space in the hope that some of them will survive to continue the human race. But the success of Shine remains doubtful as crops fail and provisions brought from Earth dwindle. Even the excitement surrounding the hatching of the giant moth people from the "boulders" in Boulder Valley doesn't make the group forget the hopelessness of the situation. It isn't until Pattie and her sister Sarah make an important discovery that survival becomes a certainty. 
I remember first picking this book up in elementary school as this was a recommended reading book. I didn't read it at that time but soon after, I found this book in the bargain books section of the book store and decided to give it a try. Ever since I bought it, it stayed on my bookshelf collecting dust. However, what made me pick this book up now, was its size, it's only 80 pages long! I'm currently behind on my 50 book challenge and I thought that reading this book would help me catch up. I read this book in an hour and was not disappointed!

I enjoyed the descriptions of the setting, the planet Shine, more than the actual story. Shine sounds like mysterious and otherworldly planet that I would much like to visit! Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was the premise: Humanity having to depart earth and inhabit another planet. However, a flaw in this book was that it did not go in-depth into certain details. I thought that the story seemed somewhat empty and brief. For example, we don't really know why humanity has to leave earth. Small details such as that would have made the book more worthwhile but I do understand that this is a children's book so the detail and language must be kept to a minimum.

I liked Pattie, the main character, as I found her to be a typical child heroine who was smarter and braver than adults most of the time. There wasn't much character development in other characters besides Pattie which was somewhat disappointing.

Although there were loop holes in the plot and the story was not solid, I think the reason why I loved this book so much was because of the setting. Once again, I thought the setting was amazing! And I can't stress how awesome it would be to visit the planet Shine. Overall, the appeal of this book is that it is a short, light read that can be read in one sitting. I thought that the writing style was simple yet elegant; perfect for a young child. I think that this would be a great gateway book into science fiction for young children.

"It's natural to feel excited," he said. "But this is not a holiday. We are a handpicked group; we are the minimum number that can possibly survive and multiply. Between us we have the skills we require. But the loss of a single member of our party will endanger the survival of us all. There is no such thing, Arthur, as 'your own risk.' Not any more. And may we all remember that." (15) -The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh

I have recently gotten interested in science fiction. Can you guys recommend me some good sci-fi books because I'm pretty new to this genre! :) 


1 comment:

  1. just wondering but why is Pattie's book green and not any other color like red? Thanks for all the help.