Feted as a Nobel Laureate and beloved for his stories the world over, Kim captivates readers with Kipling’s vivid, conflicted glimpse into the world of mid-19th century India under British colonial rule.
Kimball O’Hara, the orphaned son of an Irish soldier, is used to fending for himself on the streets of Lahore. Neither British nor Indian, Kim still manages to hustle between both worlds. Street wise and cunning, Kim survives by begging and running errands. But as he learns to gracefully navigate between British and Indian culture, he begins to serve both in equal measure. Living a double life, Kim becomes the disciple of a Tibetan lama while training as a spy for the British secret service.
Kim’s thrilling adventures are a gem no Kipling fan should overlook and an excellent addition to any collection.
Featuring an appendix of discussion questions, this Diversion Classics edition is ideal for use in book groups and classrooms.
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Kipling's inspirational poem the one that begins, "If you can keep your head when all about you/ Are losing theirs" describes how to preserve one's honor by the principled avoidance of political and moral pitfalls. Italian artist Manna imagines the "you" of the poem as a boy journeying through a series of watercolor landscapes: fields under billowing clouds, misty nights, craggy mountaintops. To accompany the poem's first line, Manna paints the boy watching from a great green meadow as storm clouds approach; he stands and watches with a cool head, rather than running in fear. For "If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew/ To serve your turn long after they are gone," Manna shows the boy climbing a rocky pitch, the peaks of other mountains poking through the clouds below. Flying kites represent temptation, and dull-eyed marionettes represent allies who can't be trusted ("If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken/ Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools"). Though young readers may not fathom the poem's complexities, the grandeur of Manna's scenes conveys the loftiness of Kipling's sentiments. Ages 6 8.