Katina – Roald Dahl (1/27)

This is the first short story in Volume One of Roald Dahlia Complete Short Stories. This book has twenty-seven short stories and I want to post a review for each individual one, that way I can give each one their due credit.

Katina is the first story in this collection, that have been put together in one place for fans of the amazing Roald Dahl. Katina was first published in Ladies’ Home Journal in March 1944, and it’s nice to see these little facts included.

Katina is the name of the little girl that is found alive among the rumble and dead bodies of 1944 war time (I’m guessing by the date this was written). She seems so out of place and she doesn’t speak English or the language of the soldiers. The little girl in the story resembles, for me, a little bit of light, or a distraction to the story and for the soldiers, among all the darkness, cruelty, death and bitterness that comes with war. She’s found amount such brutality and seems so out of place. So innocent.

I am not somebody who likes reading war stories, but knowing that Roald Dahl spent time in the war, you can really feel the truth in his words from his own vivid experiences in the words you’re reading. The descriptions and the writing is so vivid and expressive, you can imagine it all and feel it all. Then when the ending comes, you feel every word of it. It hits you and it’s so real, with no punches held back, just like war. You don’t get to decide the perfect ending, who lives or dies, you have to accept what happens, no matter how it makes you feel.

For a brief short story, it was unexpected, especially coming from Roald Dahl, when you’re used to reading about Everlasting Gobstoppers and made up fun children stories.

I am excited to read the rest of his short stories in this collection. . .

Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian

What can I truly say about this book?

Throughout this entire book, it was such an emotional and beautiful masterpiece that, in my opinion, really should be read by everyone. It’s one of those books that just speaks to you and that you can learn from, especially when you’re a child and then if you read it again as an adult. This book teaches you about so much and when I finished reading this book, I was left thinking about countless of things. It teaches you about right and wrong, loss and heartbreak and so much more. The innocence only a child has, mixed with the anger and rage of the war. There was so much truth, which made this book just heated with emotion. As an adult reading this book you can see everything and understand it all, whereas a child may not and does not it this book, and that breaks your heart to see. To see such audacity occur to a child. It makes you ask questions and look at yourself a little deeper. 

The two main characters, William and Tom, are so different at the start of this book, but by the time you get to the end of this book, they have become so similar. You can see how these two characters have developed and grown throughout the entirity of the book, as their development is and plays a part of the story. I can’t point to anything negative to say about this book, because of how much great the writing, the plot, the characters, the story is. This book just emotes so much. What you are left with and what you take away is important. 
I saw the movie adaptation when I was younger and had such a strong bond with that movie, that I was hesitant to read this book because I didn’t want those memories tainted. This book just added to those and is one of the closest and truest book to movie adaptations I have seen. I give this book a massive 5 stars with a recommendation to everyone, no matter what age or what genre you like to read.