I'm reading a few children's classics as I don't remember them from childhood, if I ever read them. About thirty pages in and the monotony was getting to me. Written in 1812 by a minister of the church as a tale for his children, the date is important as the standards of a 'morally sound middle-class' of that time are present throughout, and in the early 19th C, they would have been strongly influenced by religious values. The book is used as a vehicle for teaching morals, and I think, moral from a biblical perspective, understandable because of the date of writing and the author being a minister. It feels like an early attempt at an adventure story, but for children (boys) in the early 1800's. It's a fantasy, for kids. It's not an entreaty for equality and diversity. I found it grindingly dull and over-simplistic. I dislike giving up on books but I was rushing through to just get it out of the way. But I am an adult, not a nine year child (boy).There are some lessons in it that might come in handy: how to shape a gourd into a useable bottle, for example! It's also a tale of connection, between father/parent and his children, his sons. In a positive, respectful way.