12 October 2010
Book Review: The Firework-Maker's Daughter
Author: Philip Pullman
Release Date: 1995
Date Finished: 9 October 2010
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
Challenges: 100+ Reading, Hogwarts Reading Challenge, Young Adult Reading,
The Short and Sweet of It
Lila wants nothing more than to follow in her father's footsteps and become a fully fledged firework-maker. Unfortunately, her father has other plans for her, mostly involving becoming someone's wife. Through a bit of trickery, she finds out that to become a true firework-maker she must travel to Mount Merapi and face down the Fire-Fiend for some Royal Sulphur. She runs away to fulfill her destiny, but what she doesn't know about the trip could end her.
A Bit of a Ramble
The Firework-Maker's Daughter struck me as a funny, cute story about the power of friendship and the importance of individual choice. Lila's success - her very life - depends upon her her good friend Chulak and the white elephant he takes care of aka Hamlet. The relationship between Chulak and Hamlet also illustrates the role of friendship in that both are lost without the other. Simultaneously, the book focuses on acceptance of individual choice. Had Lila's father accepted her decision to become a firework-maker, a lot of drama could have been avoided. If Chulak accepted Hamlet's love for Frangipani, time would have been saved. If the king...okay, I'll stop now so I don't ruin any more of the story than I already have!
Memorable Quote: Illusions, Lila. Fire burns away all our illusions. The world itself is all illusion. Everything that exists flickers like a flame for a moment, and then vanishes. The only thing that lasts is change itself.
Quotes like this simultaneously intrigue me and worry me. I'm fascinated by the relationship between Illusion and Reality and the ability of individual people to modify and manipulate Reality in order to create their own particular version. At the same time, part of me wants to lock myself in a room, hug myself, and rock back and forth while humming when I start thinking too hard about all of it.
This Book Around the Web
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things mean a lot; interesting teacher's guide for grade school; Scholastic's Discussion Guide;
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