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Adventure literature is chiefly a thrilling narration based on fictional or non-fictional events. Adventure literature is characterized by interesting setting and adventures. Typically, an adventure literature book is defined by intense emotions, a splendid invention of the plot, and active development of action. It is a universal literature mainly read by children. Adventure literature, thus, has tremendous benefits to the children readers. Chiefly, this paper discusses how the emotions expressed in children’s book help build their cognition development, development in the community, development of knowledge, reasoning, and development of good judgment. In so doing, the paper will focus on two books; Doors in the Air by David Weale and Henry’s Freedom Box by Levin.
Levin and Weale illustrate different adventures in their respective books. Levin’s adventure is real (in the sense that the protagonist experiences the adventurous events) while Weale’s is an imaginative adventure. However, the emotions expressed by the authors have significant benefits on the specific characters. The small boy in Doors in the Air itemizes different parts and items in the house. Among the windows, boxes, mirror, walls, ceilings, floors, books, bowls, baskets, tables, brooms, beds and other assortments he finds the doors not only as extraordinary but very important (Weale, 2012). Weale tactfully employs the aspect of doors to introduce the readers to the adventure which follows in a wave of imagination.
We can do it today.
One would argue that the doors are used metaphorically. The ordinary door leads the boy to another world of adventure. The tall red bird takes both the boy and the reader away from the quotidian to the jungle through an ordinary back door. The bird further takes the boy on an exploration to the dreamland of keyholes, flowering vines, doorways, flying fish and staircases. Other doorways to city reveal the ubiquitous posters that appear in green, red and blue colors. The city doorways reveal the cloudy sky. The boy’s adventure takes a new twist when he is perched on an orange door that appears like a flying carpet. The door is the way to the moon.
Weale uses a small boy to narrate the events in the book. The open doors represent the human mind and its limitless imaginative nature. One of the facts underpinned by the book is the power of human mind to intersect the ordinary and extraordinary. The book can be said to be informative not only to an adult reader but also children. Its richness of content and style informs a child reader reasoning, openness to the world, cognition as well as shaping their opinions about the world. Doors in the Air is a guide that seeks to encourage readers to break the cocoons of comfort by embracing and exploring the many opportunities that life provides. It also emphasizes on the broadness of human mind and how it is not limited by the surroundings.
On the other hand, Levin’s Henry’s Freedom Box is another exhilarating adventurous life of Henry. Unlike the imaginative adventure of Doors in the Air, Henry’s adventure is real as he takes the reader through his life ordeals. The adventurous nature of Levin’s text is threefold. That is, it covers Henry’s experiences as a child, his journey to freedom and his life of freedom. In a very stylistic manner, Levin informs the readers of what it is like to be a child slave and the consequent separation from one’s family. She also depicts the recurrence of events when Henry is separated from his mother, brothers, and sisters in childhood and later by his wife and children in adulthood (Levine, 2007). Notably, this is not a mere comparison but a portrayal of a challenging journey which triumphs at last.
The ingenuity expressed in Levin’s book compels the reader to empathize with the protagonist, Henry. The contextual analysis of the text would help children readers in understanding the history of slavery in the mid-1800’s and the Underground Railroad. Slave trade is considered as an illegal business and has been abolished in many parts of the world. Therefore, Henry’s Freedom Box is an effective tool that connects the present to the past. The pictorial representations together with narration shape a child reader’s imagination and creativity. Children would not only enjoy reading the book but also identify in the unfolding events.
In conclusion, both Doors in the Air and Henry’s Freedom Box are adventure texts that express various emotions. Although the expression of adventures is done differently (real and imaginative) the stories elicit significant outcomes. The stories are informative not only to children readers but also adults. They shape a reader’s perceptions and opinions about various aspects of life, reasoning, and development of knowledge.
- Levine, E. (2007). Henry’s Freedom Box. A True Story from the Underground Railroad. Scholastic Press, New York.
- Weale, D. (2012). Doors in the Air. Orca Book Publishers, Canada.