Tuesday 25 February 2014

Classic Childrens/YA - The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford by Chiara from Books, Teens and Magazines

Really pleased to welcome Chiara from Books Teens and Magazines to the blog for Classic Childrens/YA today!

Availability - available as a vintage classic so can be found at main book retailers

The premise - three animals - a Siamese cat, a Labrador and a bull terrier are determined to return to their home. They undertake a journey across the Canadian wilderness, suffering many hardships to rejoin their owners. It is a tale of adventure, danger, courage, friendship and loyalty.

Why I really like it - for me, books that I love are often very representative of what I was going through in my life at the time I read them. I read The Incredible Journey when my family had had to relocate from Geneva, where I had lived very happily for four years, to Malta. It was a huge wrench and the consolation for me was that I got to have a pet - a Siamese cat. Before we left Geneva, we had been learning about Canada in geography at my international school (Winnipeg has been stuck in my mind since then) and so this book combined many things that were familiar to me or meant a lot to me.

I loved the way the animals were such individual characters, each with their own strength and weakness and I understood their need to find their home. I lived the journey with them, and I worried about how the book would end. It was an adventure, but so different from the ones I usually read because this was about animals and real life dangers (I had been a big reader of Enid Blyton). I was entranced and excited by the book in equal measure.

Who it will appeal to - the problem with classics is that they may appear dated to today's youth. However, because the book is about animals and the wilderness there is less danger of this. The book is more suited to the 8 to 12 age range and will appeal, in particular, to animal lovers.

Others by the same author - this was by far her most famous book although other titles include Bel Ria: Dog of War and a book about her adventures in Canada, One Woman's Arctic.

I was born in Malta and grew up in Libya and Switzerland. At 16 I came to England to take my A levels and I went on to study Law and French Law at the LSE. I have worked as a retail banker in London and Hong Kong, an investment banker, a primary school teacher and a school librarian; picking up a number of qualifications along the way. I have three teenage boys, two dogs, three cats and a house full of books. I love reading and I love sharing my ideas about books with other people. I launched the Books Teens and Magazines website in November 2012 as a means of sharing information with teen readers and their families, teachers and librarians.

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