Monday, May 11, 2015

Here's Something I Don't See In Many Children's Books

I picked up the adult novel 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino because the flap copy begins "Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, rebellious nine-year-old who also happens to be an aspiring jazz singer."

As my faithful readers are well aware, I enjoy reading adult fiction with child main characters. I liked The Cat's Pajamas a great deal. However, because Madeline is one of three main characters (it's an episodic book that you may have to be kind of zenny to get into--and I am) and the other two are adults, I can't say this is really an adult book with a child main character. (Wait. Pedro gets a lot of time, so maybe there are four main characters. Pedro is a dog.) 

Why am I mentioning this book at all, then? Because of this wonderful passage:

"Madeline has no friends: Not because she contains a tender grace that fifth graders detect and loath. Not because she has a natural ability that points her starward, though she does. Madeline has no friends because she is a jerk."

I finished that last line and thought, Why don't I see things like this in kids' books? Wouldn't child readers appreciate this kind of observation?

No comments: