This is my list of what *not* to include in our study. For various reasons.

The White Giraffe
The Slave Dancer
Africa for Kids
The Power of One — ugh. couldn’t even get past the first few pages. I borrowed it because of the high Amazon ratings.

I’ll go ahead and add comments here too about the movies we picked:

Casablanca we saw because I’ve been wondering forever, hearing those quotes all the time — “Here’s looking at you, kid”, “Play it again, Sam”, “We’ll always have Paris”. We didn’t love the movie, though it wasn’t a total waste of time. I like that Bogart’s character was honorable and decided to do the right thing in the end. And the plot twist made things more interesting.

Major disappointment was King Solomon’s Mines — I picked the highest rated one featuring Stewart Granger (unknown to me prior to this), because the book was just so funny that I even chose to read aloud parts of it to the kids and actually let my 11-yo read it, with a stern warning that he was not to make silly jokes about certain anatomical parts referenced in the book. I was hoping the book would at least stay true to the story. It had won awards, apparently because of the authenticity of the setting (real tribes, language, costumes, etc.), but it was not H. Rider Haggard’s story. Adding a romance to it did not help at all. Part of the appeal to me of King Solomon’s Mines, the story, was the masculinity of it. My kids were so looking forward to “beautiful white legs” and the story around that. The humor in the movie was non-existent and we were given, instead, stares and kisses and romantic tension. Blecch. I’m not optimistic, looking at the other options, with Patrick Swayze and Richard Chamberlain. *Someone* has to do this movie again, the *right* way.