Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What age will enjoy this?

I listened to Gossamer this weekend because one of my committee colleagues thought that it should be taken off our "ineligible" list (not a YALSA audience) since the publisher (Listening Library) indicated it was for ages 10 to 14 and SLJ determined grades 4 to 7 in its review.

After reading -- and now listening to -- it, I just can't see this keeping the interest of many teens. Yes, the story is a thoughtful one, it's got some big ideas; but the two characters whose transformation we witness are nine years old (and whatever the dreamgivers' equivalent of that would be) and are both somewhat on the precious side. (Yes, so was the boy in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but that's another story). Further, the narrator -- who read beautifully -- chose to voice her Littlest One with a high fairy voice which accentuated her extreme youth.

Certainly, not a turnoff for some teen listeners, but -- on the whole -- a much more appropriate story for elementary school children. I think they are just the right age because they are understanding that dreams aren't bestowed, but come from the inside; and the story would prompt them to think about the things that they dream about ... and why.

I'm saying this is too young for YALSA.

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