Friday, September 30, 2011

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

This book is a classic on our Battle of the Books list, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Kino, a pearl diver, and his wife, Juana, fear for the life of their infant son after he is stung by a scorpion. The greedy, mean doctor will not help them, because they have no money. Kino and Juana return to their boat, and Kino hopes for good luck as he dives into the water looking for pearls. He ends up finding the largest pearl anyone in the village has ever seen! He dreams of receiving a huge sum of money for the pearl, so his infant son can leave this life and go to school when he grows up. However, the pearl makes Kino's family a target for all of the evil in the village. Juana wants to destroy the pearl or throw it back into the sea, but Kino doesn't want to give up the dream for his son. How can this lone man defeat the greed and evil that is trying to destroy him?

I must admit that the beginning did not have a very good hook; it didn't grab me. My interest perked up when the infant became ill and other characters entered the picture. I kept asking myself, "What would I do if I was in Kino's situation?" The book might not be a page-turner full of action, but it's an excellent book to discuss with others.

Lexile level from 1010

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