Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What age will enjoy this? Part 2

Recently, at my library, we've begun wearing plastic nametag holders that have a piece of paper in them that says: 'What I'm reading now.' Then you make a copy of the book cover from our catalog's Syndetics and plop it in the plastic holder. I've been putting in the audiobooks because they take longer for me to work through ... otherwise, I'd be switching out those things all the time. I also favor the younger end of my listening since I work in the Children's Library.

So, right now in my plastic holder is the cover of Larklight. Since we began wearing these, I've been waiting for someone to ask me -- 'So, tell me about that book you're reading, Lee.' And, Saturday, someone did: Augie, five-and-three-quarters years old. And, he'd already read it! Now this kid was preternaturally articulate, and -- you know -- you don't want to encourage those parents who think their kids are geniuses, so I didn't find out if he had actually read the book himself or if it was read to him. (He did do some writing in my presence, holding the pencil literally in his fist.) But what he did have was an uncanny recall of the events of the story. He asked me what chapter I was up to; I told him I didn't know what the chapter was, but that this was what was going on. When I got home, I checked and he had the chapter spot on: Chapter 9 in case you're interested.

Now Recorded Books recommends this for age 10 and up, while SLJ says grades 6 through 10, and in this case, they are all right. But not-yet-six? Whew! There isn't anything "objectionable" [certainly no scrotums -- yes! I finally got that into my blog!] in the story, it is a rousing, exciting adventure that would make a great family read-aloud (I'm still on the fence about a family listen). But, my listening over the weekend was clearly colored by young Augie -- along the lines of: surely, he'd have asked what that meant? Would a six-year-old understand this part? Is that OK if he doesn't? etc. So, if this is a great book for elementary school kids (and you know we librarians are always looking for the "reading up" possibilities), is it a great book for a teen list? Hmmm....

No comments: