Frank on a Gunboat (An Odd Series by Harry Castelmon)- Could Teach a Lesson

Eidos | 9/21/2018 | Staff
LordLord (Posted by) Level 4
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In Charles Emerson Fosdick (Uncle to the famously fuzzy thinking theologian named Foskdick) did his bit to the save the Union and then gave the lads of the Gilded Age some jolly books under the pen name Herry Castlemon.

Be warned: he was a man of his time and the books must be read with that understanding. For good and bad, if you read his “Frank” series you are getting what Gilded Age parents of a sort were buying for the boys to read. Evidently what the lads wanted was adventure in service to duty.

Side - Aspirations - Mission - Boys - Sentence

On the purely positive side, however, awriting with no literary aspirations as all (mission mostly accomplished) was still handing the boys a sentence like this one: “ Frank could not reply- his breast was tooo full for utterance; and hastily kissing his sister, and shaking Hannah’s hand, he hurried down the walk toward the gate.” The entire book is full of sentences and vocabulary that would be considered too complex for Young Adult fiction today.

This regression in our vocabulary and ability to read complex sentences is a problem, but that is for another time.

Defects - Adventurousness - Frank - Life - Sheer

Instead of focusing on the defects, I was struck by the joyous adventurousness of Frank’s life as written. The sheer risking taking and adventurousness of the books gives them some merit. Unlike a Harry Potter, life does not come at Frank, he goes out to meet it. He has a secure and happy home base, but he knows there are jobs to be done, calculates which ones he can do, and goes and does them.

Frank is an active hero. He reflects on the correct course of action...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Eidos
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