I just finished reading The Jungle Book - by Rudyard Kipling. I guess "I finished" is not quite the right term. One of my students with dyslexia read it out loud to me. This is a student with a mild cognitive disorder and he enjoyed reading this book (reading and comprehension at about a 4th grade level.) The book is in the Christian Reading Challenge under the "read a classic novel" category. (more book reviews here)
I had never read the book, so I wasn't relying on memory.
The Jungle Book is told in 3rd person narration, but reads as if it was somebody who was very close to the action, or a folk story that might have been told by a parent to a child.
The story is set in the jungles of India, the book tells of a "man cub" (Mowgli) who was targeted and hunted by a tiger - a tension that lasts throughout the book.
Mowgli was adopted into a wolf family. His best friends and mentors, the bear Baloo and panther Bagheera - his closest friends and mentors follow his adventures. When Mowgli is supposed to be listening and learning, he's off on another adventure.
This book can be a sort of gospel story.
Mowgli is not like the animals in the jungle, but he is adopted into a wolf family. He is close to this family, but he is not really accepted into the larger community, even though he provides a service to them.
Shere Khan, the enemy knows who Mowgli is and the enemy is determined to destroy him.
This enemy is death personified. He is the only one in the jungle to openly hunt and kill man. All cower when he comes...Except Mowgli
The enemy comes into the camp, and persuades the wolf pack to reject him, put him out and banish him.
The wolf pack suffers with Mowgli's absence (both for lack of his leadership and because they followed Shere Khan where they should not have followed). The wolves are hungry with the enemy leading them, and the enemy is still determined to hunt Mowgli.
Mowgli arranges a great battle and *good* wins, and the family is reunited.