After reading A Chapter of Adventures by G. A Henty, we felt that it might be helpful to provide a review and rating of the book. The storyline, religious content, possible social issues, school subjects and availability of various book formats and supplemental activities for the book were rated. As well, the recommended reading age and vocabulary were noted. The book was given a 4-Star Review.
How did we determine the rating? The following chart provides a very brief explanation of the information found in A Chapter of Adventures and how each was rated.
|Rel||.5||Op vs cont||2 in context||.5|
|Soc||.5||Op vs cont||Most in cont. Auth op natural rights||0|
|Age||>10 *See above|
|Sub||.5||> 1 Sub||Brit Lit, Wld Hist, Earth Sci.||.5|
|Formats||1.5||Bound, Ebook, Audio – .5 ea.||No free audio||1.25|
|Activities||1||Dir .5 & Alt. .5 if avail.||Alt. avail. for 1/2.||.75|
For a more thorough explanation of the categories (above) that we have looked into, and to find out more about the book, we have gone into a bit more detail below. Hopefully, we have laid out exactly what you will find inside its covers without giving everything away.
Plot & Storyline of A Chapter of Adventures, by G. A. Henty
The plot and storyline section of this review was rated on if it was able to keep our attention and provide entertainment. Doing so gave A Chapter of Adventures 1 full star.
Synopsis for A Chapter of Adventures
This is the story of a boy named Jack, a young fisherman, and how an unforeseen event made him an apprentice sailor aboard a ship. While deployed, Jack and his comrades find themselves involved in two very dangerous adventures.
The book includes fictional tales with historical facts about the British invasion of Egypt in the early 1880s and the Bombardment of Alexandria.
It also features in-depth descriptions of sailing boats and ships, the weather, the tides, and cyclones; all of which Jack and the reader will learn as the book progresses.
This book was expertly written and even kept my own attention, though I am not keen on the subject of sailing or on war stories. Because of this, the book received the full one-star credit.
Religion in A Chapter of Adventures
Since the exclusion and inclusion, of religion in student texts are such an important topic in the modern world, we decided to include this in our review for half a star in the rating.
To maintain the half-star the text must either be specifically about a religious subject or use religion as a descriptive part of the text without trying to deliberately sway the reader to any specific religion.
Religious Occurrences in the Book
There was only two times religion, beyond the mention of general prayer, was brought up in A Chapter of Adventures.
General prayer was not included simply because it did not define any specific religion but merely signified hope in the midst of turmoil.
The first actual mention of religion, in Chapter 1, tells how fishermen thought that going to church on Sunday saved them from accidents while working.
The second occurrence, in Chapter 9, involved a discussion about European Christians conquering Egypt and putting down the “Mahomedan religion.” This was a reference to the religious turmoil between Muslims and Christians in Egypt during the time period that this book takes place (1882).
It is worth noting that neither of these occurrences attempted to sway the reader toward any religion but were used as a way to describe historical events and the characters in the book. In fact, they were so briefly spoken of in the book that a reader might not even notice if they were not actively looking for religious content, as I was.
Due to this, I did not count religious content against the star rating for the overall book and would consider this as secular content with historical information concerning religion.
The review maintained it’s half-star for the rating on religion.
Social Issues in A Chapter of Adventures
This section in the star rating was worth half a star and concerned any content that might be considered sensitive or offensive to modern society.
If the social issues found were that of the author’s own opinion, a deduction was made. When the issue described the mindset and culture of the characters for the time period in the story, the rating was not deducted.
Furthermore, deductions were fractioned depending on the number of issues found.
Social Issues Found in the Book
Due to the topics in this story, as well as the time period in which it was written, A Chapter of Adventures had a few occurrences that might be considered “socially unacceptable” in the modern world.
Some were merely strong content about the Bombardment of Alexandria, while others were more politically incorrect. The evidence below should help you navigate these more sensitive topics.
Occurrences of Social Issues
Chapter 9 includes mention of mutiny, revolution, and murder. The Egyptians are referred to as “a timid people” by the author of the book; which could be taken as a xenophobic description. There is also much description of violence and kidnapping in the Bombardment of Alexandria. This chapter also contains the first mention in the book of a “negro slave” bringing food to the prisoners.
Chapter 13 includes the Egyptian natives being referred to as “darkies” by one of the European characters. There is also mention of some incendiaries being shot and hanged, though details are not described.
Chapter 16 contains content that might be alarming to some sensitive readers. The description of killing a seal and penguins for food and to make clothing might cause some upset. While some might see this as a story of survival, as it was meant to, others could take this as a case of animal cruelty. And so this topic made the social issues list.
Chapter 17 is the most racially derogatory chapter. During a tale being told by one of the characters in the book, native people of an island are repeatedly referred to as “niggers.”
It is my opinion that most of the social issues contained in this book serve as mere descriptions of the way people would have spoken and acted for the setting of the book. For this reason, no stars were deducted for the above issues.
However, the drawback to these topics, if there is one, might be that they are written by the author from a European, or British, standpoint and do not take into account that the opposing side might have been justified in their reaction to their lands being invaded. This is the most serious social issue with the book.
For this, half a star in the review rating was deducted due to the author’s support of the violation of natural rights to life, liberty, and property.
The Social Issues section lowered the rating to four and a half stars.
Suggested Age and Reading Level for A Chapter of Adventures
This section did not have any effect on the star rating for this book review. However, we felt that it is important to know before reading the book and before moving on to the next section of this review.
A Chapter of Adventures is suitable for Upper Elementary, Middle Grade and Young Adult readers.
This means that it can be read from approximately 5th grade into adulthood, or at around 10 years of age; depending on the child’s ability and maturity.
Subjects Covered by A Chapter of Adventures
The number of School Subjects covered by the book counted as half a star in the rating. To maintain this half star, the book merely had to cover more than one subject.
We found three subjects which might be covered while reading A Chapter of Adventures. These are British Literature, World History, and Earth Science.
Below is an account of each.
The first and most obvious subject is British Literature. This book is simply a piece of literature written by a British writer and depicts the story from a British viewpoint.
The story begins in England on the Thames River and progresses to a British merchant ship. The main characters are also British.
The book describes aspects of the Bombardment of Alexandria in Egypt in the year 1882; which is part of World History.
Chapter 9, in particular, describes a riot in this occurrence; followed by several chapters explaining how the mutiny was handled on the coastline by the natives and Europeans involved.
This book also describes a cyclone, which is assumed to have been the Bombay Cyclone of 1882, though it is never named as such in the book. However, according to Wikipedia, the reports of this cyclone were later considered a hoax; so it might not truly be considered part of World History.
Surprisingly, this book also covered a bit in the subject of Earth Science and innovation.
Besides the detailed descriptions of boats and ships, there is an explanation of cockles and cockle shells and how they were cleaned and used.
The book goes into great detail on ebbs and flows, tides and waves, and how they are affected by wind and weather. As well, there is a fair description of a cyclone and how it affects both land and sea.
Vocabulary and Spelling Opportunities
While vocab and spelling had no bearing on the star rating, it was worth mentioning since the vocabulary used in A Chapter of Adventures was quite advanced.
Most modern books written today for Middle and High School students seem negligent when compared with the rich language in A Chapter of Adventures.
But despite (or maybe because of) its advanced level of vocabulary, I was able to read and understand the book well. If a younger person were to read this book and find it harder to read than I, a dictionary would serve them well.
Keeping this in mind, approximately 200 words were noted by The MiniMize Life as worthy of being studied further in vocabulary and spelling. However, some of these words may have already been covered in our booklist before reading this book.
The vocabulary used in this book should stretch the modern reader’s understanding.
Availability of Book Formats
The availability of books considered three formats; ebooks, audiobooks, and physical or bound books. These were each worth half a star. This means that one and a half stars could be effected in this section.
Likewise, ebooks and audiobooks were broken into the two subcategories of free books and those for purchase.
A Chapter of Adventures, by G. A. Henty, is available in all three formats; though a quarter of a star was lost in this section.
Many ebook sources for A Chapter of Adventures are available for download; both free and for purchase. Depending on your personal preference, any of the following would suffice.
It is available for purchase on Kindle, or the free e-book can be found at Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and Google Books.
The audiobook of A Chapter of Adventures by G. A. Henty is available on Audible.com for purchase.
However, the book was unable to be located for free in an audio format on either LibriVox or YouTube.
For this, a quarter of a point was taken. This lowered the rating to four and a quarter stars. Since the rating system does not include quarters, it would still round up to four and a half if no other deductions were made in the following sections.
A Chapter of Adventures is also available for purchase in both paperback and hardbound copies on Amazon. As well, many different editions of the book are available.
Normally, physical books are not available for free, except in a library, which I am unable to gauge. Therefore, free copies were not included in the rating for bound books.
The cleanest and most accurate edition, keeping the content of the first edition of this book, was published by Robinson Books in 2002. New copies of this edition can still be purchased, and so it is the version recommended by The MiniMize Life. You can do so by clicking the link at the top of this post.
There are also many other editions of A Chapter of Adventures. Some are older used books, and others are reprints like that of the Robinson Books version recommended above. However, many other reprints are poor, and so caution must be taken to research reviews of each.
Availability of Supplemental Resources
Supplemental activities were gauged in two parts; activities directly related to the book worth half a star and alternative activities related to the book topics worth another half star.
Furthermore, alternative activity ratings could be reduced to fractions depending on how many topics needed an activity.
For this book, there were two topics; the Bombardment of Alexandria and the Earth Science subtopics mentioned above. Each of these was, therefore, worth a quarter of a star.
Direct Activities for A Chapter of Adventures
There were no existing activities or worksheets found which were directly related to this book.
Half a star would be taken from the review rating for this. However, The MiniMize Life has rectified the situation and made worksheets available for this book.
Therefore, no changes were made to the star rating.
Alternative Activities for A Chapter of Adventures
Likewise, nothing was located regarding alternative activities for the Bombardment of Alexandria. In fact, the book A Chapter of Adventures was listed on the first page of our Google search for activities and worksheets about the topic.
However, there were quite a few worksheets, activities, and videos about the Earth Science portion of the book. We added some of these supplemental activities about tides and cyclones to the resource page for A Chapter of Adventures (See below for links).
Since there were two subjects in the alternative activities section, a quarter of a star was deducted from the star rating for the lack of activities involving the Bombardment of Alexandria.
This left us with a four-star review based on the Author’s opinion of the topic and the availability of supplemental activities on the same topic.
More About A Chapter of Adventures, by G. A. Henty
In an effort to make A Chapter of Adventures more user-friendly in a homeschool environment, The MiniMize Life has done a bit more work and research.
Besides including it in our Homeschool Elementary Booklist with instructions on how to use the book; The MiniMize Life has created worksheets directly related to this book.
We have also provided more information including links to where to find it and resources on its topics.
Links to all of these may be located at the bottom of our resource page for A Chapter of Adventures by G. A. Henty.
Have you read A Chapter of Adventures? Tell us what you thought in the comments below.