Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Exactly what my little brain required.

I rather liked the Hunger Games books. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books. The Golden Compass trilogy was cool (though I don't think this was so much a kid's book as a book where the protagonists were kids.)

I say at the store: "Why should the kids get to be the only ones to read these good books?"

Anyway, I've been trying to branch out, and I've been mostly disappointed. Young adult is actually a pretty broad category, covering a pretty wide range of maturity. So the Dave Barry Peter Pan books lost me after one try, so did the Cornelia Funke's 'The Thief Lord.' A little too simplistic.

I liked the first chapter of 'Time Stops for No Mouse' (femme fatale mouse entices a clockstore mouse to adventure) but it was really way too young.

More than once, movies have driven me away from trying. I'll probably never read The Lightning Thief because the movie sucked, for instance.

I'm trying to remember how it worked when I was younger. There was a Children's section in the library, and then everything else. So as an adultish kid (big reader, 17 years old), I would still dip into book like the Narnia series.

I think Heinlein and Asimov and most S.F. was de facto 'kids' books, even when they weren't.

I see a little too much subdivision by parents in my store, (in my opinion, I don't say anything unless asked.) That is, parents won't pick out books that might be slightly too mature for their kids.

My parents felt that if I was ready to want to try to read something, I was ready to try to read it.

I remember a whole series of overreaches when I was young -- books that were too complex and mature, but either I read them anyway or gave up on them, and it didn't do any harm.

And sometimes an overreach turned out to be a turning point. A book that might have appeared too complex was exactly what my little brain required.


H. Bruce Miller said...

Ain't got time to waste on kiddy books. I read "Ulysses" at 12. Had to have a dictionary by my side while I did it, but I did it.

Read part of the first "Hunger Games" book. It was a mildly interesting story, but clearly written for the juvenile market.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of when a family came in to a bargain bookstore I was working at; a girl (8-10 years old maybe?) was begging her parents to get her the complete works of Shakespeare, which we had on an awesome sale.

Kid: "Pleeeeease? I really want to read it!"
Parent: "You won't understand it."
Kid: "Well I HAVE a dictionary!"
Parent: "No."

Then they bought her three 'early readers' books. I had to bite my tongue and hope that when that kid grows up she'll get out of that small town and become something amazing.

H. Bruce Miller said...

When I was a kid my parents let me read any book I wanted, regardless of whether it was "age-appropriate." Of course there wasn't an awful lot of hard-core porn around then ...

Anonymous said...

My sixth grade teacher called my mom with "concerns" after I brought Hunter S. Thompson's "Hell's Angels" to school for reading day. My mom's response was appropriate: He's 11 (I was a young sixth grader) and he reads at an adult level. You're work heree is finished. Of course, we then had a long conversation about "appropriate" which has yet to sink in.