Customer Reviews for

Bless the Beasts and Children

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2002

    Charles' Review

    When I started reading Bless the Beasts and Children by Glendon Swarthout I thought I was gonna read another story about a bunch of kids who go to camp, and they have a lot of problems with each other. In the end they come together to topple this great feat. Well I was wrong, Swarthout wrote an excellent and compelling novel about a bunch of rich kids who see how cruel humans can be and they come together to help ?the beats.? These are good-hearted kids who deserve a chance at a better a life then what their parents give them. Symbolism shows society and how Swarthout wants to depict it. Many symbols help, move along the story and help Swarthout show us the cruelty of the people that live in Arizona. Wheaties, the children?s militaristic counselor at the Box Canyon Boys camp, represents this symbol. They go on a so-called field trip where their counselor takes them to a Buffalo hunt sponsored by the fish and game commission. The kids watch as the counselor and his buddies ?hunt? for the buffalo in a small pen where they can get away. They slaughter them and the boys are disgusted. Swarthout is trying to relay a message to the people of Arizona that such things go on. This book is somewhat based on a real story of Swarthout?s son and his trip to a camp in Arizona. The boys represent innocence for themselves and freedom for the beasts. The boys disapprove of the way the men treat the beasts and how they are treated by their parents. These are over privileged kids who have been sent to this camp to become ?rugged outdoorsmen.? Even the kids who wet the bed and suck their thumb will become cowboys at this camp. None of them like the camp and after the field trip with Wheaties they decide they will take action. With some trouble and the help of Cotton, a boy at the camp, they pull together and triumph by freeing the Buffalo so no man can hunt them so savagely. The boys are proud of them selves and prove they are real cowboys. The world in their eyes is now a little better. Finally, after this book was published in 1970 many read it and looked into what Swarthout talked about. Many found out that Wheaties buffalo adventure was something that actually happened in Arizona. Protests were help and people wanted it stopped. It finally was. Swarthout knew what he was doing when he wrote this book and I commend him greatly for that. Also having read Lord of the Flies was an interesting aspect. The relation of it is amazing. The boys are somewhat separated and they come together to start a group of people. This was an excellent book that was worth my time to read. I enjoy the way Swarthout uses symbolism. I recommend this book to all readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2008

    suprisingly amazing.

    I have heard a lot of bad things about this book, but after reading it, I can't see why. It was amazing. Humorous and amusing at parts and it kept you entertanined. This is a must- read and I recommend for any age.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2008

    amasing

    this book was amazing i read it in shool i realy recomend this book for all ages

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2006

    amazing

    Bless the Beasts and Children is an outstanding book that I read when I was in 7th grade ( which was over 30 years ago .) I still remember it now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2004

    Wonderful book that I still remember from 25 years ago

    I read this book when I was in 8th grade and loved it. I am looking for books for my own children to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2003

    Beauty on two levels....

    On first reading this work, you will no doubt understand the physical confilct of boys against their society. However, in looking deeper into this book, you can see that, not only are these young men struggling to liberate themselves and a group of animals, but are engaged in a greater struggle dating back two-thousand years. In this book, John Cotton, the boy that takes the leadership role, is an extended metaphor to Jesus Christ. The author has taken the age old approach of naming the character J C to represent this, but simply put, this is only an indicator of his religious similarities to those who cannot pick up on the more subtle clues. John Cotton is taken from among the boys and set as their leader by his actions, he goes through many trials and overcomes them through diverse measures. In the end, he is forced to choose whether his life is more important than the real freedom and adulthood of his followers. Although the symbolism is at one level obvious and can be taken to be a 'tree-hugging' message, this book is truly a religious affair. Due to it's short legnth most people can read it in only a few days, and it is well worth your time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2000

    Best Book Ever Written

    I give this book 5 stars. It was outstanding. I read this book back in 8th grade and I can honestly say it's the best book I've ever read in my life. I'm going to be honest though. All my friends hated it. But I would suggest it to anyone. Great great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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