Friday, February 20, 2009

My daughter's secret life with books...

I have this daughter and she reads. All good. And I thought I knew what she reads--Big fan of Geronimo Stilton and Goosebumps Horrorland. Not a big fan (at all) of what I term girl books. You know the ones clearly targeted at girls with girls on the cover and back cover copy centered on baby sitting or friends doing you wrong?

Her genre is clearly fantasy--with an occasional animal book tossed in the mix. Although all of her favorites (Anything by Kate Dicamillo) are most definitely fantasy.

See, I know my daughter and I know what she reads. I do!! But then I discovered she had been stepping out on me. Reading books I didn't know about by authors I read. First it was Flush by Carl Hiaasen. I read Hiaasen--not rabidly, but I do and I like him. And it had occurred to me I might want to read his kids' books. This discovery (that she had already read Flush) was unsettling, but I went on.

Then Coraline, the movie, came out. Let's just get this clear. I am a BIG Neil Gaiman fan--BIG. One of the few things he has written that I haven't read is Coraline. (I am coveting The Graveyard Book as we speak.) Casual discussion came up about the movie. The husband said he would take the girl, because I was freaked out by the whole buttons for eyes thing. I thought, great, we will introduce her to Neil Gaiman. It's a good thing. Then the husband dropped the bomb. She had already read Coraline BEHIND MY BACK! How could she do this? Flush OK, I mean I like Hiaasen, but I don't stalk him. But GAIMAN? How could she possibly have read Neil Gaiman and not told me, her mother?

It shook my world. I'm an author. Isn't it my my right to introduce her to the great ones? How could she go about behind my back finding them on her own, setting up her own little reading life without even telling me?

I'm still shaken--but now, I'm watching. Connie Willis comes out with a kids' book and I am there! In fact maybe ten isn't too young for the Doomsday is obvious I need to get a jump on things here.

So, how about you? What books have you introduced the younger set to? And how did you find your favorite books when you were a kid? Did you stumble upon them or did some fabulous wonderful person (mother) help you?

AND follow-up to last week: The winner of the slightly damaged copy of Love is All You Need is...The non-blob-intimidted MarthaE! Congrats, Martha! Email me your snail mail address at lori(at)


azteclady said...

Oh dear, poor Lori! I so feel your pain--both my (now mostly grown) kidlets are voracious readers. I used to know what they read, but now? eeeekkkkk!!!!

My mother was a librarian for over three decades, my stepfather a history teacher. My house had an actual library, plus bookcases in every bedroom and the hallway, so in a way my mother introduced me many of my favorites--by virtue of having them in the house. :grin:

She did try--bless her heart!--to limit our reading to 'age appropriate' stuff, but... :chuckle: well, let's just say that with five kids, it was a lost battle from the get.

[Huge congrats, MarthaE!]

Lori Devoti said...

I used to raid my mother's bookshelf. There were a lot of old novels set in the Ozarks...Think Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright and other books that no one has heard of.
I enjoyed them though. :)

Angie Fox said...

I read Shepherd of the Hills as a kid and really enjoyed it. We went on an Ozarks vacation and saw the play. Had to buy the book.

Still, we were big on libraries growing up. My mom would let me plant myself in the Nancy Drew section and have at it. I must have read every one of those dark green books.

Jess Granger said...

It was Black Stallion for me. I was obsessed with horses.


Shirley Damsgaard said...

Ahh, Lori, you are sooo lucky!! I've four kids (all adults now) and not one of them could be considered a reader. I did try and encourage literacy in my household...I read GREEN EGGS AND HAM (their favorite) until my eyes crossed!!! AND my children always witnessed me reading. But alas to no avail!! The only thing my two sons seem to be interested in is the latest Bass Pro catalog or a four-wheeler magazine, and my girls? One's still in school (Cosmetology) and the other has two little boys and a career, so they are a little pressed for time. I am hopeful about the grandchildren though. One of my four grandsons enjoys reading and my granddaughter is a fan of Goosebumps. (In fact, they had the book fair at school this week and Grandma is now twenty bucks to the poorer as a result!! lol!)

Lori Devoti said...

Shirley, that is my weakness too. Book Fair comes and my kids get to load up!
Angie, I read Nancy Drew because we had them, but was more of a Trixie Beldon fan.
And, Jess, I read the horse books too, again because someone gave them to me. I think I read pretty much anything that crossed my path. We had NO bookstores--I grew up in a small town. We didn't even have a WalMart when I was little. I used to order books from the backs of other books. Got a lot of Zane Greys that way!

Casey said...

It was the library for me. Every Friday after school. Like clockwork. We'd walk to the library, and it wasn't close. We'd load up for the week and heaven forbid if we even thought of returning a book late! That was a sin of the first order. We had a very small library at my very small elementary school, too. I remember reading "Island of the Blue Dolphin." Hmmm...wonder if that one's still around.

Ann Aguirre said...

When I was growing up, I loved the Trixie Belden books.

Lori Devoti said...

Casey, it is! I think we have a copy here. :)