OK, so first of all, a great big (and
awestruck) thank you to everyone who has made this such an excellent
part of writing this blog. Your thoughtful wide-ranging recommendations
have been great for me to read, so one has only to imagine how much
they are appreciated by the people they are actually for!
A few other random points:
isn't the name "We Recommend" lame? It seemed slightly ironic and funny
at first, but now I feel like I'm a pharmacist being surveyed or
something. I will try to think of something better, stay tuned.
2) my sister was hoping something like this existed for grownups, as
she is looking for a vacation book: anyone know of anything?
to all of you who have been so generous and engaged as to write in for
this feature (and more are always welcome, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org),
thank you! And thank you for your patience! I intend to write everyone
back, but there's that whole niggling problem of life, you know…. You
will all get your turn to reap the wealth in due time.
And so, to this week's We Recommend….
parent writes in that her 4-year-old daughter loves to have chapter
books read to her at night. She is a fairly hard-core
pink/princess/fairy sort of girl with a twist: she likes troublemakers.
She has enjoyed Clementine, but they've run through the books, she
loves Junie B., but it's making her mother go insane (and in spite of
all my solemn and earnest vows not to judge I couldn't agree more, all
that cutesy bad grammar and disingenuous spelling seems so false,
ugh!). This strong-minded reader has calmly pronounced those honored
dead, Little Women, The Three Musketeers, and Little House on the
This mother needs our help!
Fortunately, it comes in a powerful form.
Perhaps this is too obvious; maybe this mother has already read her daughter all the Pippi Longstocking books. BUT. If she hasn't, all I can say is that when my husband read her the first one, she was electrified. Pippi is powerful; you want bad? Pippi is the strongest girl in the world! She beats up grown men! She disrupts an entire school! She's the daughter of pirates! She can lift her own horse.
These books (there are three original, I believe) are excellent. They are fun. They will, we hope do the trick. And then there's this:
the risk of recommending something so blatantly obvious, I have to put
a word in here for good old Ramona. She is everything that Junie B.
wishes she could be, but without that cringe-inducing fake bad grammar.
Ramona is so funny and straightforward and entirely who she is, it's a
complete pleasure to read, and then there's the excellent bonus that
they go on and on and on, so if your read-ee is a lover of "more!"—as
who is not?—you've always got something to satisfy.
But of course, with any new recommendation, the
real thrill is seeing what you guys say: what do you think?