Newberry = Death
Iz's latest kick is plowing through the backlist of Newberry Award books. She's a bit displeased with their tone:
"Mommy, I don't understand why if Newberry Award is for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children that means that someone in the book has to die. This book [The Higher Power of Lucky] has someone dying before the book even begins!"
I told her that many adults think that "distinguished" means "demonstrates how awful life can be for some kids so as to make happy innocent children more grateful for their swell lives" and that I don't see why "distinguished" can't simply mean "beautifully written, imaginative, and entertaining." If you were a kid and your life resembled one of those tragic tales, wouldn't you be rooting for some quality escapism?
Iz and I just finished reading Walk Two Moons together last night (thank you for the gift, Godmother Stacy) and by the end we were laughing in horror at the carnage: four people met tragic ends, and another two were in horrible car/bus accidents. Seymour was playing with Mali nearby, and he couldn't help chuckling with us.
I can't think of how the well-written but unbelievably depressing "Out of the Dust" was chosen over the delightful "Ella Enchanted" without rolling my eyes.
In other Iz news, she is definitely peering over the fence from Little Kid Land into Big Girl Territory. She wants to know why Lindsay Lohan got arrested (she saw it on the cover of a magazine in the store), is desperate to watch as much Hannah Montana as possible (she got to watch it with her cousin and grandmother in Hawaii; thankfully our cable still isn't hooked up), and really wants to read People magazine. I remember hungrily plowing through my aunt's Enquirers at her age, and think that I need to find some way to feed the beast what it craves. Perhaps a subscription to Jane magazine. Which i will read and censor first. Hmmm.