17 June 2013

A Great Pig Story

I enjoyed Louise Erdrich’s memory of summer reading for the New York Times Book Review. She was reading well above grade level at about age nine:

And then I found “The Nylon Pirates,” by Nicholas Monsarrat. I thought it would be about pirates stealing women’s nylon stockings, which seemed shockingly tempting. It must have been the last straw, because the librarian refused to check it out for me.

Instead, she gave me “Animal Farm.” “Let me know what you think,” she said.

I loved it. “Well?” she said when I brought it back.

“A great pig story!” I told her.

She renewed the book with her special red stamp and handed it back to me. “Read it again,” she said.
The librarians in Erdrich’s story start out as trying to shoo her away from the adult books, at least without parental permission. But really they’re concerned that she read what’s right for her. This one chooses which adult book to recommend to young Louise—and makes sure she gets everything out of it.

No comments: