So, if there's anything like a common factor to childhood, I think beyond tantrums, crying, band-aids, beyond all of it, there's nose picking.
It's nasty but whoever thinks that we here at The Diamond in the Window are afraid to face the hard realities of life, here's where I prove them wrong.
But how, you might wonder, does this fit into the world of children's literature?
This book is yet another example of the twisted genius that is Louis Sachar. Who can help but identify with the lonely hero, unfairly—incorrectly!—accused of nose-picking by a scheming bully eager to discredit him and win a game? Who can help but nod in pained recognition as our hero makes the situation worse and worse and worse by frantically denying the accusation, and calling attention to it all the more? And then we all, as one (I think), rejoice with him when he is able to tear away the ugly hypocrisy of all nose-picking accusations, and ask, basically, who among us has not picked?
What's so excellent about this book (aside from quick wry writing, the painful reality, the fact that it is easy to read but in no way simple) is how matter of fact it is, how refreshingly free from bullshit. Sachar manages to ride blithely over this generally gross subject making all the human points that I, as a parent, am too parental to make: yes, it's gross. No, you probably shouldn't do it. Yes, everyone does it (or at least has done it sometime). Yes, it is, without question, a teasing offense. It's the balance that is (for me, anyway) virtually impossible to maintain; all I say is, "Stop it right now!" Leave it to the great artists to address nose-picking in its larger, more human dimensions.