Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What a great book!

Tom Playfair is a book that at first I never thought I would get through. It was very hard to "get into" Fr. Finn's style of writing but it worth every effort.

Father wrote this book in 1890 for the young boys of his boarding school.
"One of the greatest things in the world is to get the right book into the hands of the right boy or girl. No one can indulge in reading to any extent without being largely influenced for better or worse."
Fr. Francis J. Finn, S.J.

It took me and my younger kiddos several months to get into this book.  The style of writing is very difficult.  The language of the time is different and hard to read, I often had to break and explain.  I wondered if it was worth it and thought about putting the book up.  I spoke with a few other moms that I suspected had purchased the books for their own sons.  Everyone said that their kids liked the story.  Non of the adults that I spoke with had read the book.  Others loved the book so we kept going reading only a little at a time.  Then we hit the middle of the book.  I was struggling to keep the attention of the kiddos.  Then the story took off.

 I think this is a great book for anyone especially those about to receive their first Holy Communion.  I recommend reading it aloud to a child younger than 12.  The old wording can be tricky.  Wow . . . we laughed, we cried and surprisingly we grew strong in our faith.  Father Finn wrote with a black and white love of the soul.  Wrong is wrong, right is right, heaven is heaven but hell is hell.  We finished this book wanting heaven and loving God.  I can't wait to start the next book.  I hope it is just as good.


  1. Hi Shannon.

    Saw your post on FB regarding these books and so I hopped over to learn more.

    Now, I know that you have both genders of kiddos, but I'm curious...are these written for "boys" so to speak? Do you think that Mary Catherine would enjoy these as a read-aloud or is she a bit too young...kindergarten?

    We do read-aloud every night and are currently working our way through L. Frank Baum (OZ Books) that Auntie Julie gave us for Christmas.

    I'm always looking for good read-aloud material, but am wondering if I should postpone until Benjamin would be old enough to appreciate...he's 4.

    Let me know your thoughts, here if you like!


  2. I think they work great for boys around 8 years or older. I would wait a few years for your family. The books are very well written but the language of the time is a little difficult. The story is about boys and it works for girls as well but they do draw the boys in.

    Also the subject matter does involve death. The writer handles it so beautifully and wraps it in our faith in a wonderful way but give your kiddos a few years. We were ready for the story because of all those deaths we have been through two years back. Please don't avoid the books because of it but wait a little.