Saturday, December 8, 2012

Memories from my past...The Kent Family Chronicles

I started posting the following on Facebook earlier this evening, and when it got to the length that it began to look like a blogpost, I...well...decided to turn it into a blogpost! Here it is.
I was at one of my favorite used book stores, Mr. K's in Oak Ridge, the other day when what should I find in their free book bin but almost the entire set of The Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes. I remember fighting over each new volume with my brother, David, when they were released. Those were good books.

It was one of my classmates who got me interested in those books when they were reading them in Miss Mogart's PA History class in 9th grade. I remember asking her about what she was reading and then began reading them myself.

 I was never good at remembering dates and things like that in school, but I have always loved history - especially U.S. history. It didn't hurt that the Bicentennial was around that time and U.S. history was really big. My dad was a big history buff as well and always took us to places like Gettysburg, Williamsburg, and Boston/Plymouth for vacations.

Anyway, guess who grabbed up the books, to my wife's chagrin, and has started to reread them? They are still as good as they were back then. Perhaps not something I would pick up and read today unless they were something like this from my youth. There's a little bit of language in them but not too bad. There are a few inappropriate sections but nothing too graphic. They are certainly not like some of the modern garbage that is now being published. If I can recall, the history was fairly accurate as well. Of course, it's fiction, so not all of it will be exactly true, but, for the most part, the history isn't watered down or "rewritten". I believe that the Bicentennial was before political correctness was invented.
At any rate, if you are a big history buff like me, I would recommend looking into them. I wouldn't recommend them to a child under high school age, but I began reading them in ninth grade and didn't have any problem with either the reading level or the language/inappropriateness. Kids today are exposed to much more graphic things on a daily basis than kids were in 1976 so, unless you are extremely careful about what your teen reads and don't allow any questionable things at all, then I think you would be safe with these. If I come across anything major that I haven't remembered from reading them 35 years ago then I will revise this and let you know. Happy Reading!

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