Kensuke’s Kingdom-Storyline and Review

Kensuke's Kingdom

Kensuke’s Kingdom

 

Book Review - Kensuke's Kingdom

 

‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ is the story of an 11-year-old boy, Micheal, who, along with his parents and his sheepdog, Stella Artois, goes on a sailing trip around the world on their sail ship Peggie Sue. The family sails together to different lands. One day, by accident, both Micheal and Stella Artois get thrown into the sea. Micheal tries all he can to save himself but is overtaken by the force of the mighty waves. He struggles to stay afloat, tires himself out, and eventually loses consciousness. Fortunately, the next day, Micheal finds himself alive on an unknown island,  with Stella on his side. He initially thinks that animals only inhabit the island but soon finds out that there is another human survivor other than him – a 70-something older man- Kensuke.

The two meet, but there is very little communication between them as they hardly understand each other’s language. Despite asking Micheal to live separately on the other hill, Kensuke helps the boy get food and drink and helps him survive. One day, as Micheal tries to create a beacon by lighting fire on the hilltop to attract the attention of a ship passing by, Kensuke stops him by force and henceforth forbids him from making any attempts to reach out to the outer world. The boy misses his parents and wants to reach out to them desperately. He feels grateful for all the food, drink, and protection he gets from Kensuke but is equally displeased, upset, and angry at not being allowed to do what he thinks is right.

Soon one more restriction is imposed on him – not venturing out to the beach immediately after the storm. By now, Micheal is irked. Overcome with anger, he purposely defies Kensuke’s orders and ventures into the beach. He gets stung all over by jellyfish, which leaves him paralyzed for days together. But Kensuke comes to his rescue again, takes care of him, and nurtures him back to good health. This incident breaks all barriers and sows the seeds of friendship between the two. Once Micheal recovers, they start spending their days together, increasing their fondness for each other.

Kensuke teaches Micheal ways and means of survival on the island, effectively using its resources while respecting one’s surroundings and learning to live in harmony with nature and being one with it. Micheal teaches English to Kensuke. With a common language between the two of them, communication becomes easy. Now that both can understand each other, each tells his story and how he landed on the island. With this comes the revelation of Kensuke’s story, which is heartening and arouses compassion. It’s a story of love for one’s family, duty towards one’s job and country, and hope and hopelessness.

In the end, Micheal meets his parents and goes back. But what happens to Kensuke? One has to read and find out. The letter at the end of the book almost brings tears to one’s eyes. Apart from delivering a very touching story about Kensuke’s life, the book also sends out a powerful message that we are mighty as humans. We must use this power wisely and learn to live with much more empathy with other living beings who share this planet with us. It is a book with adventure, mystery, love, envy, friendship, hope, conviction, and anguish – all packed into one—a must-read.

To read about other interesting books, click here.

 

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