Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Special Readers

    I just read a wonderful new children's book entitled The Children of the King written by Sonya Hartnett. It's one of the most well written books, adult or children's, which I have read all year. The jacket cover, illustrated by one of my favorites, Andrea Offerman, is beautiful. The story concerns London evacuees during World War II, and a haunted castle. A great read, yet I wonder if it will find its audience.

     At the public library, children ask me for the same books over and over again - Rick Riordan's books, Rainbow Magic, Diary of A Wimpy Kid, The Magic Treehouse series. What's endearing and sweet is that each child acts as if it's a new discovery, a book I probably have never heard of before. And it is for them, as it should be. Yet my hope is that these series, as good as they are, will not be the only books read during childhood. That children will also find those special books along the way.

      We in libraries used to talk about the "special reader", that child who gravitated towards the award winning books. I was that sort of reader as a child. I liked to browse the shelves and find books on my own, and I didn't want or need suggestions, especially from a "helpful" librarian.

    So maybe the right child for this book will find it. I just probably won't know anything about it.