What did eleven year old boys on vacation do before TV and video games? They used their imagination. At least that is what Bobby, Keith and Fritzy do while pretending to be the three musketeers, reenacting the books Bobby’s grandfather (Grandpa Max) has been reading to them. Keith’s father thinks the boys are wasting their summer. (Perhaps he would prefer to pay hundreds of dollars to have them play adult supervised games in an indoor sports complex.) The boys enjoy the stories and their “adventures” just the same. Little do they know, those adventures are about to become real. When they read a passage aloud, they are transported through time and space. They suddenly find themselves in 17th century Paris fighting the cardinals guards alongside of d’Artagnan. This is no game, however, and the boys now must fight for their lives as well as the integrity of Dumas’ original storyline.
Bresloff’s first of the Get Into the Classics Series retells portions of The Three Musketeers in a modern style. Although younger boys will probably enjoy the action packed plot, the reading level may be somewhat simple for the publisher’s intended audience. Like the Great Illustrated Classics Series, this book reduces a classic piece of literature to its skeletal plot, eliminating literary style and character development. Again, this may be more appropriate for younger readers.
Although the book has no truly objectionable content, one point is worth noting. Eleven year old Bobby, the primary protagonist in the story, has his “first kiss” while in France. Although it is an innocent incident, one has to wonder why the author felt the need to introduce this distraction into a book intended for nine and ten year old boys, an age when young readers should be focusing on developing work habits and good friendships.
Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher living in Ridgewood, NJ.