Monday, May 03, 2010

"Let's do it for Johnny, man. Do it for Johnny!"

Part of my daughter's homework this week was to ask us about our favorite book back when we were her age. She is then supposed to read the book and we can all share in the literary goodness.

This poses more of a problem than you might think.

When I was in fifth grade, I read The Outsiders 19 times in a row. Then I read S. E. Hinton's other books (does anyone remember Rumble Fish, Tex, or That Was Then, This is Now?) Then I read Forever by Judy Bloom and learned all about sex. Which transitioned into me reading every historical romance I could get my hands on. And probably how I developed into the highly sexual creature I am today.

I do remember reading all of the Misty of Chincoteague books when I was in fourth grade (back in my innocence)(and I think it is totally cool that I live near the island now), but she read those back in second grade.

This really illustrates the vast difference in our educations. My daughter seeks out Newbery Award winning books. I read about sex and cute men, over and over and over again.

And my husband? Frankly, I don't think he had read a whole book back then.

In fact, when I couldn't think of a single appropriate answer for her, I gave her the best answer of all. "Ask Daddy."

His first guess was Lord of the Rings which I vetoed. I then suggested that he meant Lord of the Flies which I actually have sitting around somewhere. He interjected that maybe we were thinking of A Clockwork Orange and I practically choked in my rush to make sure she didn't write that down.

We settled on Lord of the Flies. But that didn't fly because they read that in class in a couple of years.

So it was back to the drawing board tonight.

Apparently we weren't the only parents who struggled because her teacher sent an e-mail out to us suggesting that we just pick one of the Newbery Award winners from the year we were 12-years-old and play along.

She even sent a link.

Do you remember what you loved to read in fifth grade? Is it indicative of the adult you've become?

I wonder, because if it is, my daughter is likely to become that crazy cat lady at the end of the block. And me and my romance novels won't be any help to her.

UPDATE: We ended up choosing Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien. She read it in one night and loved it. Now all of her friends want to read it, but I have first dibs before it goes back to the school library.

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