Half-Baked (Quarter-Baked?) Idea: Every Kids’ Book Has a Double

This one is so very unbaked that it will be instantly apparent just how long my vacation actually was.

I did get a fair amount of reading done, though not as much as I wanted. I've been bravely battling a serious case of pudding brain, and I can't say yet whether I'm out of the woods.

Anyway, as a final closing vacation hurrah, I read a book I've been meaning to read for a long time, The Keep.

And it was great. The beginning, particularly, has that magical power that you mostly find in kids' books: the one where you're transported to something large and unknown and immensely powerful. It's like jumping into the ocean—electric and thrilling.

I could go on, but I mostly wanted to talk about one particular aspect of it, which is that in some weird way The Keep is the grown up double of Holes. (Spoilers, dead ahead!) They both focus on interlinked stories, on betrayal and redemption, on saving each other in really specific ways.

And it struck me: they are twinned. And then it struck me further (here's where we perhaps get less than fully baked): maybe all kids books are twinned? As in, you can find the grown-up twin of almost all kids books you've loved if you only look hard enough.

I can't tell you how much this idea appeals to me.

However. I, uh, couldn't think of any other examples to bolster my theory. Rest assured: as is the case with all half-baked theoreticians, I haven't allowed this to alter my conviction (note: this tendency may be in some ways echo why we have a persisting political divide in the country, if that makes any sense). But I was hoping, maybe someone out there knows what I'm talking about? And can give me an example? I mean, sure: The Clique and Jackie Collins maybe. But I'm thinking broader, deeper, bigger than that, somehow. But I am a little lost.

What do you guys think?

9 thoughts on “Half-Baked (Quarter-Baked?) Idea: Every Kids’ Book Has a Double

  1. I never read the Time Traveler’s Wife, though I did read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which seem in some essential way different though they’re about the same thing. I fear this is just an idiosyncratic judgment call, which is too bad, I had hoped…I don’t know what. That I had found some sort of literary secret passageway.


  2. Great theory!
    Simon Rich’s What in God’s Name & There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff?
    (I only skimmed the Rich book, because I kept feeling like I’d read it before, & then, later, thought of Meg Rosoff’s book. But I read it ages ago–I should reread them in tandem, but until then, I’m just putting it out there.)


  3. ok, not twins, exactly, but Painball in Margaret Atwood’s Year of the Flood seems like it could have inspired the Hunger Games….


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