In which Annie (high school teacher, mother of two young girls and a younger boy) and her aunt Deborah (children's bookseller, mother of two young women in their 20s) discuss children's books and come up with annotated lists.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Guys read...

Dear Annie,

Mona went through a Paula Danziger phase during the Domestic Fiction years.  I myself haven't read much of her, although one of my favorite book titles of all time is  Everyone Else's Parents Said Yes . Her Amber Brown books have always sold better for me than the older chapter books you talk about. I sometimes wonder if books talking about real-life situations age a little faster than some others. Most of the books you talk about were written late 70s/early 80s. Do the assumptions and language still speak to people born at the turn of the century?

I've been thinking about taking a brief break from Chick Lit.  I wanted to toss a question at you about your spouse.  What was he reading in middle school?  Does he have a L'Engle equivalent?  For Bob it was Rosemary Sutcliff, a wonderful British historical novelist.  She wrote an excellent trilogy about the Roman occupation of Britain, which starts with
The Eagle of the Ninth
(recently turned into a not-so-good movie, I think).  Her books cover British history from the Bronze Age on up to at least the 18th century.  I'll do a longer entry on her at some point (or will ask Bob to do a guest blog).  The combination of good writing and immersion in historical settings were what attracted Bob to her books.  Any guys out there who had/have seriously favorite books from middle school on up?  Or women who want to talk about their spouses' favorites?

All of this was on my mind tonight when a friend came to dinner with his quite remarkable 14 year-old twins.  We kicked around the names of a lot of books and authors.  It turned out that the book that the brother was totally in love with was Grapes of Wrath


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