Monday, November 13, 2017

The Motor Girls and The Motor Boys on the Atlantic

This post consists of brief comments about two of the books I read this summer.

I read the first Motor Girls book, The Motor Girls, by Margaret Penrose.  The book was published in 1910.  Cora Kimball gets her very own automobile and solves a minor mystery.

The text is sexist with the boys getting to drive Cora's car.  The boys race Cora's car with a car that belongs to another boy.  The behavior is very irresponsible and results in a wreck.  I felt that the scene belonged in a boys' series book, not a girls' book.  It's so off.

The story has a masquerade near the end that is so boring!  The characters are named by their costumes, and the reader has no idea who is who.  How confusing!

I wasn't very impressed with the book, but I might someday read the other books in the series.  I own most all of them.  This series won't be high on my list.

The Motor Girls series was launched because of the success of the Motor Boys series.  I read The Motor Boys on the Atlantic, which is the only Motor Boys book that I own.  The book was published in 1908.

The boys do a lot of things that they should not do.  I'm sure that the story was perfect for boys of the early 1900s, but this modern female reader couldn't appreciate much of it.  I like many boys' series books, but this one is too strongly a boys' book for my liking.

A ship wrecks, and the boys salvage the cargo that is floating around on the water.  There's no concern about returning the cargo to the owner.  Whoever gets to the cargo first can claim it.

The boys help kill a whale and a shark just to charge admission for people to see them.  They keep the whale on the beach until it decays too much and then they dispose of it.  How disgusting and what a waste!

When the boys are adrift for the second time during the book, the reader learns that they don't have oars since they have seldom needed them.  The reader also learns that the boys' boat has no signal lights.  What a bunch of idiots!

On page 159, the boys use the last of their water while adrift.  They are in the middle of a storm, and since they run out of water, I assume that they have no containers with which to capture any of the rainwater.  These boys have poor planning skills.

I was not very impressed, since I need to like the characters in order to like the story.  I did not like the boys very much.  The Motor Boys series will be very low on my list of books to read, and I'm not sure I will ever read the other titles.

Another book that I read during the same time period was the first Don Sturdy book, which also featured hunting.  I do not enjoy reading about series book characters killing animals for sport.  I had one Boy Hunters book by Ralph Bonehill, which was on my list of books to try.  Instead, I decided that I had no reason to keep it.  I very much doubt that I would enjoy reading it. 

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