You might notice we’re all about choice at Book Trust. It’s true.
But Mrs. Hughes – she turned that on its head for me.
I started 5th grade with head full of Babysitter’s Club and Archie comics. My teacher, Mrs. Hughes eyed me, then did something I’d thought teachers incapable of. She swore.
“You’re reading crap,” she said (my world shook). “Go choose something from my bookcase.” (My world went grumpy)
So I still got to choose a book, sort of. I resentfully picked Swiss Family Robinson, because it was about surviving horrible situations and my life was very hard right then.
You realize this was written when dinosaurs walked the earth, Mrs. Hughes?
And fell in love. We’re talking weeks outdoors trying to make chairs out of sticks (outcome: bruised tailbone). It’s stayed with me; sometimes, I’ll force myself to pick up something I really don’t wanna. They sometimes become my absolute favorites.
The exquisite, joy-of-a-read Book Thief:
Nazi-era Germany, narrated by Death himself? No!
Yes. Please please read this. It is all life and beauty and I would gobble down a phone book Markus Zusak chose to write.
The wildly creative and lovely His Dark Materials:
I dunno. Armored bears and hanging out in the cold? Meh.
Just wow. Opened a new era in incredible YA speculative fiction, right along with Harry Potter.
Jim Butcher’s just plain awesome Dresden Files:
Wizard-as-Chicago-gumshoe? You’re trying too hard, Butcher.
‘Rollicking’ and ‘romp’ are overused. Yet Dresden is an addicting, hilarious, heartfelt, rollicking romp of a read.
And so many more. Those are all, by the way, highly recommended for mature teens. Be aware that Butcher’s violence can be graphic and there are occasional sexual situations. And of course I went back to Babysitters Club and comics. Those things were awesome!
So, what do you have in the world of ‘then and now books I thought I’d hate but was oh so wrong?’ I would love to hear. Email me at any time with comments or questions, and see you for our next book chat in April!
This is the second post of our new Book Trust blog – Found Books, by Book Trust founder, Adrienne Schatz.
“I’m just as much of a book nut today as ever, and our CEO Tiffany and I thought it’d be fun to bring that back into the Book Trust fold. Each month, I’ll contrast a vintage and current children’s book – from picture books to young adult titles. I have a big collection of each and look forward to sharing them with you.
I hope to hear from you, too with comments, questions, and recommendations! My shelves are groaning, but I can’t resist a good new title.”