Saturday, August 15, 2020

Old enough

At CrimeReads, eight mystery novels written for children that are there recommended for adults. I haven't read any of them and so don't know whether I'd like them, but I certainly enjoyed the introductory paragraphs:
In his dedication in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis penned this note to Lucy Barfield, his goddaughter. “I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it.”

I love that part, someday you will be old enough to read fairy tales again. Later on, in his book, On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature he wrote, “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly.”

C.S. Lewis was a smart man. He cherished the idea that children’s books are ageless and meant for all to experience. As adults, why do we feel there’s an unspoken rule that we have to read “adult” books?

There’s nothing that says you wouldn’t love a good middle grade or young adult novel. In fact, I’d refer you right back up to Lewis’ quote and say you’re probably “old enough” to truly enjoy one.
The last "middle grade" mystery/suspense books I read and enjoyed were in Andrew Klavan's The Homelanders series and I very thoroughly enjoyed them. I've posted about the series before.

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