Georgia has hit a milestone – one that excites me way more than first steps or lost teeth. Georgia has started reading chapter books!
Ruby, in her time, hit this milestone with great reluctance, not liking any of the books I grew up loving: Judy Blume, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Beverly Clearly, E.B. White, Louis Sachar, Roald Dahl.
Even now, at age 13 and a straight A student, she doesn’t read for leisure. Why would she, when there are Instagram, TikTok, and beauty vlogs to capture her rare moments of down time?
Georgia, though she certainly watches her fair share of YouTube videos, seems much more amenable to the idea of reading for fun. She and her dad worked their way through the Princess in Black series, and now Georgia has moved on to Bunnicula.
I remember reading Bunnicula, too, as a kid, and I liked it, but it seemed too weird for me, way too far-fetched. “Of course a rabbit can’t be a vampire; don’t be ridiculous,” I thought.
Oddly, my willingness to suspend disbelief has grown as I’ve aged. While children are usually credited with wild imaginations, I was not so gifted in that regard. I wanted my fiction realistic, and I enjoyed nonfiction more than most. (All of the weird books I read as a child made me even more awkward at the time and then, many years later, made me a formidable foe at bar trivia.)
Given a gift of the Narnia series for my ninth birthday, I made a half-hearted attempt to get into it before setting it back on my bookshelf (where it remained until I read it – and loved it – late in my 20s). I never even tried Tolkien; I knew I wouldn’t have the patience.
Midway through my senior year in college, I decided to pick up the first Harry Potter, just to see what the fuss was about, and I was hooked. Yes, it was fantasy; yes, it required suspension of disbelief. But in the midst of internships and Capstone projects, it was exactly the escape I needed.
Georgia, unlike me, already is open to fantasy; she loves imagination and whimsy. I think she would enjoy Harry Potter, but I’m not sure she’s quite ready for it. I certainly have plans to introduce her to Roald Dahl, and some of the more surreal Louis Sachar will be right up her alley.
But if anyone has a kids’ book series they adored and would recommend to a fledgling reader with a taste for the absurd, please leave it for me in the comments.
Happy reading, everyone!