Someone shared the Funniest AutoCorrects of 2012 on Facebook, and I laughed very hard. So read it. But make sure that, if your kids are old enough to read, they are far away. Otherwise they will hear you guffawing and come running in and they will learn a whole bunch of words that are entirely inappropriate.
M just devoured two books that she loved. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. I’ve only read little bits of them, but they’re the kind of books I love: strong female protagonists living in interesting historical settings (a Black Panther summer camp in late 60s California for the former, Saigon during its fall and to the US in the latter). Plus the second one was in a free verse format. She came home from school with a book she’d started in the classroom there, and I’m sorry, but it was lame. It was one of those obnoxious-kids-making-mischief-in-school kind of books and okay, yes, those are excellent books for getting beginning readers reading their chapter books, but it was just such a step down. Plus, when she started reading in bed, she picked up Inside Out and started it over rather than schlepping downstairs to find the new book that she’d started at school.
So when I was summoned for bedtime reading and she called down for me to please bring the book from school, I brought it, but I also did a quick shelf-search and picked up several Newbery winners. M had pointed out the prize medallions on the previous two books, and I know that her librarian talks quite a bit about various book awards.
And then I walked into her room and committed a terrible Parenting Sin. I insulted her reading choice.
Honestly, I didn’t even think about it. I just walked in and said, “Hey, I brought a few other award winners because your book is kind of lame.”
At that point, M protested indignantly and Cute W looked mildly appalled. M accused me of censoring her (which you know I don’t do) and refusing to allow her to read her chosen book. She fake-cried. Because this is how she rolls. She likes to cause me to paralyze myself with parental guilt, and she’s awesome at it. She’d drop the lame book from her upper-bunk perch and I’d skitter over to pick it up and offer it again, of course my little girl can have her lame book if she wants! Wait, did I say that? Everyone, Cute W and I insisted, enjoys an easy silly read once in a while! Totally fine! It’s just that I thought that she was bored because she didn’t pick it up again! Please! By all means! Read it. I left.
The next morning I found out that she’d started The View From Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg, decided it was too boring, and then switched to. . . wait for it. . .
One of my favorite books of all time!
I stayed poker-faced. I only hope it goes better than those Little House books. Back when M chose Little House in the Big Woods at the library, I actually teared up as I was checking it out, but within a few chapters and one too many details about slaughtering pigs, she cast it aside.
I really do think that she thought that other book was lame, too. If not, I’m sure that she would have read it just out of spite. But I still feel guilty about it.