Sunday, 18 September 2011

Dandelion Wine

Dandelion Wine

By Ray Bradbury


It's 1928 and Douglas Spaulding is a 12 year old boy living in a big house, with his big family, in Illinois. It's summer and Douglas is excited. All he wants this summer, is a summer full of running around on freshly cut grass, a summer of wearing-in new tennis shoes, devouring delicious ice cream and dandelion wine making. Douglas Spaulding's favorite summer activity is dandelion wine making. He loves blending dandelions with other tasty fruits, adding the water, mixing it, beating it and pouring the result into bottles.

But this summer, Douglas wants to do more than sitting around his yard beating dandelions and making dandelion wine. He and his younger brother Tom want to leave their big house, packed to the roof with grandparents and cousins. They want to have adventures. They want to explore, to discover everything the world has to offer, but most importantly, they want to have an interesting and adventure-filled summer.

When the adventures begin Douglas and Tom soon realize that there are bigger mysteries in the world that they are not yet ready to take on -- they have a lot of life skills to learn in the summer of 1928.


When I first started reading Dandelion Wine I found it boring. After reading the back cover I was expecting tons of adventures and excitement. The book is filled with adventures and excitement, but I didn't understand this until the end of the book.  Dandelion Wine is not like the books I usually read (it was a school assignment).  It is not a modern-day book or a historical book; the story takes place about 80 years ago.

As we read the first couple of pages of the book we meet some of Douglas's family who all live in the same house as him. All of the Spauldings live in his house; grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters and more. It was a fun little introduction but after a couple of chapters of 'Grandpa dropped that...' and 'Tom did this...' it gets a to be a bit boring and it seems like the story isn't really starting.

After the first couple of chapters we learn that Douglas wants to experience "everything in the entire world" in summer of 1928, and how he wants his life to be a big adventure which will begin that summer.

As the book progresses, we meet some of Douglas and Tom's friends. All of the boys play together, and that is an interesting topic to read about (I find).  It turned out to be a very interesting way to learn about a boy's life in 1928. We read about what sports they played, what sweets (candy) they ate and what they wore. When you think about it, you probably don't really know what a group of 12 year old boys growing up in 1928 would do in summer. It is an uncommon topic, but, let's say, an educational topic.

However the 'story' never seems to start. But it does. You just don't realize it until the end of the book. The book isn't exactly a story with adventure, it is, as I like to call it, a 'thinking' story.  It is a book that makes you think and you don't realize it until the end.  This is a story of a young boy learning, but as it develops in your mind, you are learning as well. This book makes you think about your life and everything that you have already learnt or that are in the middle of learning.

I would recommend Dandelion Wine to any tween ready to learn.

Note: There is a sequel to this book which was written in 2006 (almost 50 years later).  It is called Farewell Summer and follows Douglas in the summer of 1929.

Ages 12+

239 pages

1 comment:

  1. Nice one, Gia! I really like how you review school books as well as your chosen books. What did you learn from reading the book?

    I'm glad that you are still reading. Hope school is going well.