Kensuke’s Kingdom

I feel as though I have been absent from the blogging world for weeks and even though it hasn’t been that long, it has been a while since my last post which can only mean one thing…school has started again! The past week and a half have been a whirlwind of new classes, planning and remembering how to talk in front of a group of teenagers. Sadly this has left me very little time for reading and even less time for reading books unrelated to school. To Bed with Grand Music has been placed on the desk to finish when I have a moment. Instead I have been juggling three books for school, one of which, Kensuke’s Kingdom, I have just finished.

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Michael’s family have always loved sailing, but when two unexpected redundancies left them with no income and no ties, they decided to pool their money and spend some time travelling around the world. An ideal dream, until Michael (and his dog Stella) mysteriously disappear the night before his 12th birthday. Thrown overboard in the dead of the night, he fears for his life, but when he wakes up he is on a beautiful desert island. Worried about how he will fend for himself, Michael isn’t sure he will survive for long, however soon a secret island occupant starts leaving food for him and Stella. Michael soon meets Kensuke and a touching friendship develops.

I am teaching this to a particularly weak class, and it was met with groans of ‘we did this in primary school’ curse you primary school! However it is a new read for me and I doubt they really remember it, so I am sticking with my guns, it just means I need to be more inventive when teaching it. I personally enjoyed the story. There were moments when I was scared, especially for more Stella the dog, and moments when I was touched. I loved the back story of how Kensuke came to live on this deserted island and found his reasons for staying particularly poignant. Sometimes the unknown can be scary and I imagine that as we get older we lose that fearless can do attitude of youth. The postscript offered a lovely ‘what if’ moment of reflection that I won’t spoil.

A short and sweet post, hopefully soon I will be back into a school routine and have more reading time. For now it is on to the next school book: Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson.

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