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The Jungle Book

by Rudyard Kipling
352 pages, General Fiction
Reviewed by Victor

Recommended read if you like animals and their ways.

Plot

This is a collection of various stories about animals. The animals are portrayed as intelligent (some smarter than others) and unique. The majority of the stories follow Mowgli, a child raised by wolves, and his dealing with the people (the animals call themselves people) of the jungle. He has many ups and downs until he is faced with the choice to leave the jungle and live with his own species, or to stay in the jungle for the rest of his life.

Other protagonists include seals, a mongoose, the Inuit in the North, a former Indian politician, and elephants.

Morality

According to the book, the Jungle has laws that must be followed. As most characters are animals they do not do anything bad, only what is natural to them. However, there are good characters and bad characters throughout, especially men when they come in to play.

The monkeys are the one jungle people who do not follow any laws. They cause problems just to get attention. Kidnapping and theft are some of their trademarks. Shere Khan kills men out of spite (and fear).

Spiritual Content

One chapter has a poem about an Indian god who named all the animals. Priests are mentioned. There is another story told by the elephant of the beginning of the jungle and how man came to be greater than the animals.
Also, a former prime minister of an Indian province decided to become a priest of sorts. He goes on a pilgrimage of spiritual discovery. (results unstated)

Violence

Animals killing animals and fighting with each other. Men throw rocks at Mowgli. Mowgli leads the animals to terrify a whole village.

Drug and Alcohol Content

None.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

None.

Conclusion

This is a classic book and was worth the effort of reading it. I particularly enjoyed Kipling's poetry at the beginning and end of each story as well as his loveable characters. The ending of the Mowgli story left me sad!

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 3
Written for Age: 13+

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