Author: Adapted by Lisa Marsoli
Illustrator: The Disney Storybook Artists
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Audience: All Ages
Summary: By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old widower Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Right after lifting off, however, he learns he isn’t alone on his journey, since Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years his junior, has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip.
Literary elements at work in the story: A read-aloud adventure storybook based on the Oscar-winning Disney-Pixar film of the same name. At first glance, the plot is the familiar theme of “grumpy” older person softened by a child. In fact, though, Carl isn’t so much grumpy as he is an emotional wreck after the death of his wife – and childhood sweetheart – Ellie. The traditional theme (which I never tire of) is taken to new heights with the comical illustrations and Dug the Dog with whom you can’t help but fall in love.
Perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability: The intergenerational story in UP is full of heart. Add to that the bond between Russell and the bird, Kevin, and Dug and you have a delightful story for all ages with plenty of emotion.
Theology: A sweet story about keeping promises and making sacrifices and love.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Why do you think Carl finally decided to travel to South America?
- What did Russell give up to make friends with the giant bird, Kevin? What did Carl have to give up to save Russell, Kevin, and Dug? Why do you think he did this?
- Have you ever given up something special for someone you care about?
Review prepared by Kelly Hames, MACE, Entering cohort Fall 2008
UP by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.