Bingo Square Round 2: The Book Was Better
Due to some last minute work schedule changes, I wasn’t able to go see the movie yet as planned but should be making up for that in the next few days. As a result, I can’t quite say if the book or the movie was better but I expect it might be one of those where I enjoy the movie more because of the cast. There are also quite a few descriptions of visual that I think will be amazing to see on screen.
Sometimes I forget how quick and to the point children’s books can be – the plot moves along faster, and character motivations are generally much simpler. Things are accepted at face value much more quickly. The novel takes place in the late 1940s, and Lewis has to leave Wisconsin to move in with his uncle Jonathan in Minnesota after the death of his parents. Jonathan is a bit weird as is his best friend and neighbor, Mrs. Zimmerman, but that’s because they are magic practitioners! His uncle is a wizard and Mrs. Zimmerman is a witch. While Jonathan is happy to live next to his best friend, that isn’t the only reason he moved into the large old mansion – the previous occupant was a mysterious dark wizard, and Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman need to figure out what he was up to and potentially stop it from coming to fruition.
Lewis becomes interested in this mystery, but he is also a new kid in a new school, with the disadvantage of being a bit chubby. It’s not easy to make friends and when he fears he might lose the one friend he made, he hopes revealing the secrets of magic will make him stay. Instead, Lewis sets some things into motion that might bring about Isaac Izzard’s evil plan.
I think I would have quite enjoyed this novel as a child since it is fast moving and doesn’t lecture the reader – Lewis learns a lesson but it’s not preachy, and it’s something he figures out on his own rather than needing an adult to lay it all out for him (I’m not sure if I would have liked A Wrinkle in Time as a child because as an adult it didn’t seem like the characters did anything for more most of the book, instead simply being taken on a journey; Lewis, on the other hand, acts even if 8 year old me might have been cringing at some of his decisions). However, this isn’t one of the children’s novels that transcends across all ages to me – I can absolutely still read and love Harry Potter; this one, I very much felt like I was a bit too old, and that the motivations were maybe a bit simple. I mean, I guess Voldemort’s weren’t that complicated in The Sorcerer’s Stone but they felt more developed.
Bingo Square: The Book Was Better