Friday, October 18, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: EDITH NESBIT'S "THE RAILWAY CHILDREN"

the original novel
(mine is of a different publisher though)

My enthusiasm was really high to read the original version of Edith Nesbit's "The Railway Children". I managed to get hold of it via online order and was really happy to discover a few things. The same novel which was edited and simplified (or retold) by John Eskott, is the present book used by the form three students in some schools.



the movie released in 1970
The original is definitely the best, as it always is. There are two events that are not told in the text book. How the children and Mother had helped the Russian by providing him shelter and later he meeting his wife and children after being separated for a long time. The second event when the three children saved a baby from a burning barge while the parents were away in town. 

the text book
I also managed to watch the movie version which was adapted from the book, downloaded from the internet. As for the movie, the scene of the children's heroic action saving the child was not shown. Other than that, the part when Peter was caught stealing coal from the railway station was also not found in the movie plot, to my students' dismay. However, I would still suggest students to watch it. If you have at least read the novel and understand the story, you can sure relate the movie to the text. My students seemed to like it very much.

I think it was a wise decision after all to switch from  "Around the World in 80 Days" to "The Railway Children" to prepare students for the exam.