Wednesday, October 26, 2016

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea original by Jules Verne, retold by Pauline Francis

In 48 pages, Francis summarizes Verne’s famous 19th century science fiction novel, which begins in Brooklyn in 1867.  There have been reports of a sea monster in the Pacific Ocean and the United States government is assembling a team to investigate.  Monsieur Arronax, a french scientist and the narrator of the story, receives a letter inviting him to join the team and accepts the invitation, thus beginning the adventure ahead.  This British edition condenses the original novel into ten spare chapters and includes an introduction, a five page glossary, and two exercises titled “Test Yourself” but read like pop quizzes intended for a teacher to assign.  This slim volume has a decent enough cover, but the digital color illustrations sprinkled through the text leave much to be desired.  Still, teachers wanting a basic introduction to the text for developing adolescent readers may well find this edition among the most useful for building schema and providing scaffolding  for the classic. --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Francis, Pauline.  20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  London: Evans Brothers Limited, 2010.

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