Life of Pi

Such a famous book! I have been meaning to read this one for a long time. Ashlee chose it for our book club book this month, so I finally read it.

A far cry from Pi's circumstances!

Life of Pi is a book about a young man named Piscine, who goes by Pi. His father is a zookeeper, and when the family decides to move from India to Canada, they emigrate on the cargo ship that is bringing some of their animals to zoos in the U.S. and Canada. Disaster strikes and (as shown on the cover of most editions of the book) that's how Pi ends up stranded in a lifeboat with a tiger. But as the title suggests, there is more to the story than just Pi's time on the lifeboat. It's really the story of his life.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The writing was very well done -- I was surprised, disgusted, moved and provoked to deep thoughts. Knowing that I was going to get to discuss the book with friends was icing on the cake. 

Our discussion was rich - there is plenty of meat in this book (pun intended!) for talking about the human experience and I can see why its considered a classic. Ashlee, who chose the book, has read it many times over and always finds something new in it, which I can relate to! I've only read it once, but already in our discussion I was finding new things to think about and angles I hadn't considered. 

The book was also make into a movie in 2012. I hear they did a really great job, but that of course the book is better. So, I might watch it now that I've read the book. 

In some ways this book reminded me of The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, and the Odyssey. All three  stories have direct applications of the hero's journey specifically to life's journey in general.  

Levi (who is in 7th grade) said he was interested in reading it, and I wouldn't have any problem with that. I don't think it would appeal to readers much younger than 7th grade, but I could be wrong. The book has a high vocabulary and plenty of survival violence and peril. The story incorporated more religion than I was expecting, no swearing or sexual content, except to talk briefly about animal's needs to reproduce. It's definitely the sort of thing I could see English teachers enjoying teaching and book clubs enjoying discussing! We had a good time -- and Ashlee brought bananas and coconut cream pie. 

Ride On by Faith Erin Hicks

Ride On by Faith Erin Hicks

Horse riding lesson

I really enjoyed this graphic novel! I picked it up from the library because it's by Faith Erin Hicks and I have liked her books in the past (One Year at Ellsmere, and Friends with Boys especially!) There was a great ensemble cast to this book. Although the front cover has just one of the main characters on it, (kind of two, if you count the horse, I suppose!) there are a bunch of awesome characters in this book. 

I was never super into horse books (it was all about the Babysitters Club, for me!) but that didn't stand in the way of my enjoyment of this book. My dad loves horses and our family owned a few now and then (see the picture above). Even thought I didn't ever consider myself a horse girl, many sweet moments, some silliness, and some real conflicts made the book compelling. It's realistic fiction.

Norrie is always stirring up drama.

Sam's brothers tease him like crazy.

What happened with Victoria to make her change stables?

I loved all the positive sibling relationships in this book. Victoria's sweet older sister, Norrie's sweet older brother, even Sam's brother's eventually have some sweet moments.  I loved that Victoria's mom was an accountant, haha! Yeah accountants know better than to buy horses.

Ride On is set in middle school, and as far as romance goes, there is just the barest hint of a crush. It's a super sweet book. Some themes of Ride On are friendship, growing apart or growing closer, what it means to you to be around a good friend, working hard, competing. I loved it, and my kids did, too. 

Ride On on Amazon

Have you read it? What did you think?

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