Sunday, November 25, 2012

Book Review: The Peterkin Papers

The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia P. Hale
Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1893 (originally published 1880); 120 pages

Note: The Peterkin Papers is available free for Kindle.  You don't need a Kindle to read it; just check out Amazon's Kindle Cloud Reader at  (You will need an Amazon account.)

The Peterkins are a rather unusual family living somewhere in New England (Massachusetts, I think, as Boston is mentioned with some regularity).  The family consists of Mr. and Mrs. Peterkin and their children, Agamemnon, Elizabeth Eliza, Solomon John, and the three little boys (with their ubiquitous India-rubber boots).  The family is always having humorous adventures and problems while trying to accomplish simple tasks of daily living.

I enjoyed The Peterkin Papers very much, although I didn't find them as laugh-out-loud funny now as I did when I read them in elementary school.  The book, which is a collection of short stories, is intended for children, and although it's over 100 years old, I think today's children will still see the humor in the situations in which the Peterkins find themselves.  The book also provides a window into how people lived in the late 1800s.  My only criticism is that as an adult, I realize that as silly as the Peterkins are, it's a wonder they manage to stay alive.

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