I just finished reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and wanted to get this review out before I forgot what I read. Like the last time, storyline, religious content, possible social issues, school subjects and availability of various book formats and supplemental activities for the book are rated. As well, And the recommended reading age and vocabulary were noted. The book was given a 4.5-Star Review.
How did we determine the rating? The following chart provides a very brief explanation of the information found in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and how each was rated.
|Rel||.5||Op vs cont||N/A||.5|
|Soc||.5||Op vs cont||Tobacco use||0|
|Age||> 10 *see above|
|Sub||.5||>1 Sub||Brit Lit, Metrology, L.A.||.5|
|Formats||1.5||Bound, eBook, Audio – .5 ea||All met||1.5|
|Activities||1||Dir .5 & Alt .5 if avail||All met||1|
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 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
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 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 1 full star.
Synopsis for Alice in Wonderland
This is the story of Alice, a little girl who finds herself in a strange world after allowing her curiosity to get the better of her. In this place, Alice has to cope with everything behaving in the opposite fashion as would normally occur.
The book includes many themes and opportunity to study language arts. Children especially enjoy the wordplay featured in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
However, it also features many dark topics including, child abuse, murder and execution, mental illness, theft, and kidnapping, albeit in a completely non-definitive way. Some sensitive readers have expressed that this reads like a nightmare.
This book was, on the whole, entertaining. Because of this, the book received the full one-star credit.
Religion in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
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 any religious content must either be a book 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.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland did not contain any mention of religion, and so maintained its half star.
Social Issues in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
This section in the star rating was worth half a star and concerned any content that might be considered sensitive or offensive in 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, Alice in Wonderland had a few occurrences that might be considered “socially unacceptable” in the modern world.
Some were merely strong content, while others were more politically incorrect. The evidence below should help you navigate these more sensitive topics.
Occurrences of Social Issues
Chapter 1 describes the first occurrence of Alice eating and drinking a substance in which she is unsure of its contents. It explains how she considered that she should not ingest it but then does so anyway. She then goes on to do this throughout the book. Soon, she learns how to use these substances to cope in a strange world. This is indicative of substance abuse and may be viewed as encouraging drug use.
After following the White Rabbit into Wonderland, Chapter 2 depicts Alice making the choice to talk to strangers in an effort to find her way out of a pool. While this might seem justifiable in such a situation, Alice then goes on to speak and follow strangers into many other dangerous situations. Some might find this behavior to be counterproductive to how children are normally taught to behave.
In fact, Chapter 4 finds Alice trapped inside the house of a stranger. This happens repeatedly throughout the book, always ending with Alice’s escape.
Chapter 4 also contains the first mention of the caterpillar smoking a hookah. This continues in Chapter 5. This is used to help depict the caterpillar as a sage; though it also might be a reference to the book’s mathematical connections (See subjects below).
Chapter 6 involves the Duchess and her baby, whom she handles very roughly, which could be considered child abuse until the “child” turns into a pig; in which case this may be considered animal abuse. On top of that, before the child’s transformation, Alice makes the decision to kidnap the child to save it from being “murdered.” These are all very dark topics mixed with poor decisions on the part of all of the characters.
Chapter 7 first describes the Queen of Hearts ordering the execution and beheading of people. This continues throughout the remainder of the book.
Chapter 11 features a trial where nothing that happens makes sense nor leads to due process. And while the outcome is favorable, it fails to acknowledge a real crime that happens when Alice commits theft of a juror. This could also be considered tampering with a jury.
After considering these, 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. That the book describes a world where everything seems nonsensical and the opposite of what it should be makes these issues understandable in context.
However, I do believe that there was no real reason for the caterpillar to smoke a hookah, as it would not have changed the story if he hadn’t. Unfortunately, even if the Author’s purpose was in reference to mathematic purposes, very few child readers would make this distinction on their own. For this reason, the Social Issues section lowered the rating to four and a half stars.
Suggested Age and Reading Level for Alice in Wonderland
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.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is suitable for Children and Middle-Grade readers.
This means that it can be read from approximately 4th grade into adulthood, or beginning at around 9 years of age.
Subjects Covered by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
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 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. These are British Literature, Metrology, and Language Arts.
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.
While the book never says as much, indications such as Alice’s referral to the cost of things in pounds lead us to believe that the characters are also British.
In Science, the subject of Metrology is the study of measurement. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland deals extensively with various types of measurements and explains them in comparison to various objects.
Height, length, inches, feet, volume, density, distance, miles, time, space, and other forms of measurement are discussed throughout the book.
Language Arts and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
There are a few topics in the subject of Language Arts that are covered in this book.
Here, you find metaphors, similies and analogies, poems and riddles, and puns.
Metaphors and Analogies
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is full of analogies, similes, and metaphors. In fact, the entire theme of the book explains the curious world in comparison to the regular one.
While I could list these; they are nearly too plentiful to do so; on every page of the book, if not in every paragraph. One will not have any trouble finding comparisons, both implicit and explicit, in Alice in Wonderland.
Poems in Alice in Wonderland
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland contains eleven poems.
Most of the poems are parodies of other well-known verse; save one which is found as a sort of introduction before the table of contents. Here is a list of the poems and the chapters in which they are found.
- Into – All in the golden afternoon …
- Chapter 2 – How doth the little crocodile …
- Chapter 3 – The Mouses Tale
- Chapter 5 – You are old, Father William
- Chapter 6 – Speak roughly to your little boy …
- Chapter 7 – Twinkle, twinkle little bat …
- Chapter 10 (3 poems) – The Lobster Quadrille, ‘Tis the voice of the Lobster …, and Turtle Soup
- Chapter 11 – Tarts
- Chapter 12 – The letter in the trial
For more information about the origins of these poems, you can read this article.
Riddles in Alice in Wonderland
As for Riddles, Chapter 7 contains the most obvious one when The Mad Hatter asks Alice, “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” Alice even refers to this as a riddle. In the same chapter, the Dormouse tells a story about Lacie, Elsie, and Tillie which is in and of itself a riddle.
In truth, there are numerous riddles sprinkled throughout the book which is indicative of its being categorized as literary nonsense.
Puns from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
There are also numerous puns found in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Most notable is the Mouse’s Tale, in Chapter 3, which Alice envisions as a mouse’s tail. The same chapter depicts the “driest” topic of discussion that can be thought of in order to help Alice and her companions dry off.
In Chapter 6, Alice mentions the earth’s axis, which is then taken by the Duchess as “axes.”
Chapter 9 includes a pun made between Alice and the Queen explaining that Mock Turtles are what Mock Turtle Soup is made of. It also includes an explanation by the Mock Turtle of the word “lessons” meaning to lessen in length each day. He also makes a pun when explaining that his teacher was called Tortoise because he “taught us” which sounds similar.
In Chapter 12, there is another pun between the White Rabbit and the King when the rabbit asks where he should begin and then the King replies to begin at the beginning and read through until the end then stop.
Vocabulary and Spelling Opportunities
While vocab and spelling had no bearing on the star rating, it was worth mentioning since the vocabulary used in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (if unabridged) was quite advanced when compared with more recent literature.
Despite (or maybe because of) its advanced level of vocabulary, I was able to read and understand the book well.
Keeping this in mind, approximately 220 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.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is available in all three formats.
The links to these may be found on the resource page for this book found at the end of this post.
Many ebook sources for Alice in Wonderland 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 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is available on Audible.com for purchase.
It is also available on both LibriVox and YouTube for free.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 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.
However, there are also many editions of Alice’s Adventures on Wonderland. Some are older used books, and others are reprints of the original version. However, many other editions are abridged, and so caution must be taken to research reviews of each.
The MiniMize Life has taken care to recommend unabridged editions of this book.
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 seven topics; metrology, analogies, metaphors, similes, poems, riddles, and puns. Each of these was, therefore, worth one-eighth of a star.
Direct Activities for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
There are lots of existing activities directly related to this book. So many, in fact, that we couldn’t list even a quarter of them on our resource page for the book.
As well, The MiniMize Life has also created worksheets available for this book.
Because these were so plentiful, no changes were made to the star rating.
Alternative Activities for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Likewise, lots of alternative activities for the eight subtopics were available. We included links to our favorites on the resource page for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
This means that the book did not lose any stars for the number of supplemental activities available.
More About Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
In an effort to make Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 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 on our resource page for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.
Have you read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? Tell us what you thought in the comments below.