Friday, June 24, 2005

The Elementary Critic

I found out this week that my 12 year old son Andrew reads my blogs. Who knew?

The revelations continue.

It turns out that he writes his own online book reviews. He blogs on the "Andrew, 12" byline at the Jefferson County Colorado Library website.

Andrew is a pretty emotional person. But he's more blunt and straightforward than our unusually emotionally savvy, college age daughter Rebecca ever was. And he's definitely more oriented toward action and physicality.

I enjoyed his book reviews and thought they were pretty revealing. I especially liked one of his images.

He reviews Ella Enchanted. Seven little girls also make their take on the book.

All the girls loved it. Andrew did not love it.

He begins by saying, "I'll be honest this book was flat out boring."

Unambiguous, honest, and easy to understand. Good.

Socially apt? Well, perhaps some refining is in order.

The image that made me laugh out loud comes a couple of sentences later. He comments on the experience of actually reading the book over the course of a day.

He writes, "I truly fell asleep about 20 times on the same day then it kept waken me up cuz it was a hard cover."

Grammar and syntax aren't very important considerations among elementary school kids these days. After reading lots of blogs and emails from folks in their 20's and 30's over the past 10 years, I guess that's true of a lot of adults too.

But the thought picture is pretty funny and the language has sort of a Mark Twain feel to it.

I remember lots of times when I've been reading a dull, hard cover book and fallen asleep only to have it drop out of my hands and jolt me awake suddenly. Heavy hard covers are sort of painful, especially if you get one of those sharp corners in a sensitive place.

Clever and striking image of how unpleasant a boring book can be. Nice job, Andrew.

I got a kick out of all of the kids' reviews. Too many exclamation points for my taste (another writing trait these kids share with 20-30 year olds) and too little interesting detail, but overall it's good stuff.

Strange new world when elementary school and junior high kids are doing lit looks for public consumption and when fathers are doing takes on their kids' book reviews. But possibly kind of cool too.

Oh, and one other thing. How come when I was a kid we never got to read books with titles like The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things?

Take a look for yourself:


Blogger TPB said...

I found this line in his review particularly insightful:

I mean I like fantasy but not fantasy that sucks out the action of your life!

Truly, he is wise beyond his years.

Andrew, if you are reading this: u RoK! yah boYYyyy!!!! dat wuz pHat! thank$, mon :-!

Translation for your dad:

"Very insightful comments. You bring up a good point about having healthy boundaries between reality and fantasy (that so many do not). Also, I am pleased that you were able to persuade your father to continue blogging."

8:37 AM  

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