Adam Gopnik’s fantasy fiction hasn’t won me over, but I adore his nonfiction writing on kids. Here’s a passage from the father of two in the 4 April issue of The New Yorker:
When one eleven-year-old girl says to another eleven-year-old girl, “So then, like, the teacher got all, like, all of you, I guess, are, like, going to have to do a, like, I don’t know, a makeup test. So! Like, yeah,” she means:That must be one of the ten greatest sentences ever to appear in that august magazine.
“The teacher, becoming heated”—that’s why she “got, like,” rather than “said, like”—“announced, in effect, that many of us (I suppose, at a first approximation, all) will, at some point in, as it were, the near future, have to take what actually amounts to, when all is said and done, a secondary makeup test. I have indignant feelings about this—as who among us would not?—but I recognize their essential futility.”