3 out of 4 stars
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The Adventures of Columbus Daniel by Columbus Daniel is a fiction book that follows a story of the explorations of young “Danny” and numerous lessons he learns from the different experiences he had in-between his third and twelfth year.
Written as an autobiography, the story starts off with three-year-old Danny being resuscitated, having slipped into a coma, after falling into a well. Danny then becomes more attached to things of nature and faith in God. He also develops a preference for people with black skin over white-skinned people, even when racial prejudice was very evident at that time. He does not quite fit in with most of his peers at home or school. After his mother remarries, he is dropped off at his grandparent’s house where he lives a farm life until he is twelve. During his time there, he learns some valuable lessons through the friends he makes as well as his numerous adventurous expeditions.
It is usually a very difficult task to write an autobiography that does not look false, as there is always a very high chance that the author attributes certain positive qualities to himself to make him look good or leave the readers in awe. I was pleased that was not the case here. The author, telling a story of himself as a child, does not try to paint his younger self, “Danny” more than what he was- a child. Danny's thoughts and actions were consistent with those of a child throughout the book. This was especially evident in his relationship with his cousin, James. It made his story more credible and believable.
I like that the author described locations explicitly. I always had a clear picture of what the features of houses and places looked like. I also liked that this book was very easy to read as the editorial team did a very good job. This book contained absolutely no grammatical errors or profane language, although I found three minor typographical errors. Additionally, it was interesting to see that this book talked about the racial prejudices that existed during that time and how much Danny’s grandmother frowned at them. This is a topic that still has a lot of relevance in modern-day. I think it is important that people emulate Danny’s grandmother in a bid to eradicate racism.
Despite the positives, I was disappointed at the number of unnecessary characters that were included. These characters were introduced and they were never talked about again throughout the book. This made other important characters difficult to keep up with at times. Furthermore, I was unhappy with how frequently the topics and issues that were raised, changed without a complete explanation regarding their outcome.
As a result of my reservations, I have taken off one star and rated this book 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend The Adventures of Columbus Daniel for people interested in nature and fiction stories.
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