I thought I was being super-smart buying Chestnut Code Name Verity, even though I hadn't read it myself. I'd heard about it, which I thought was all I needed. Historical? Check. Codes? Check. Everyone talking about how awesome it is? Double check.
Here was her beef: the hero is a grown-up. Cue look of horror.
While it's true that her aversion might be more accurately attributed to the fact that I was the one giving the book her (sucks to be a mom sometimes), it did make me wonder.
I mean, we hear all the time about boys not wanting to read books in which a girl is the main character, the age thing is…different. I remember being 14 or so, and reading Seventeen magazine and feeling really quite sophisticated. And Chestnut herself, let us remember, was perfectly happy to read about Ruth Reichl, who is most assuredly a grown-up. So what gives?
I don't know. I think, partly, that when you're 11 part of you wants to be 15, and the other part wants to be 10. And as for Code Name Verity, I can't say yet because I am on page five. But I can tell so far that she is, indeed, a grown-up. And it is strange to me. Why is this a book for kids? Is it even a book for kids? And who cares if it is? (Other than Chestnut, I mean, who wanted to show my why what I did when I tried to buy her a present was WRONG.) I like to fancy myself a person who is working against cutting literature into discrete and unrelated chunks, rather than letting it blend and ooze.
Yes, that seems great, doesn't it? Letting literature ooze?
Anyway: what do your kids think about books with grown-ups in them? I mean, Robinson Crusoe? Treasure Island? What do you think?