Resisting Temptation

I would say what I really thought about the perpetrator of this idea, but Mama told me not to call people names. Recently, I saw an article berating grown people for reading young adult literature, which left me with a dilemma. I try to be fair and see all sides of an issue, but the farther I read in this one, the closer I came to name-calling. I skimmed quickly. If I hurried, maybe I could put the whole idea behind me. Not so. I began to think of my blog readers.

I can justify my own reading of everything from picture books to Anna Karenina with the fact that I taught kindergarten, second grade, and junior high. Continuing, I can come up with grandchildren whose ages range from seven months to twenty-somethings. I need to know what to buy for birthdays and such.

However, I have to also consider the pleasures of what I hope are my loyal readers as I recommend books. When I thought of what they would miss without young adult books, I once again was tempted to get into name-calling. Whether they have or have not taught school, whether they enjoy or lack age-appropriate grandchildren, some of the best books today are written for children and young adults. Why should my blog-readers be deprived of them?  The person who came up with this idea is . . . I can’t finish. Mama said not to call names.

Instead, I will recommend a young adult trilogy for your reading pleasure over this Fourth of July holiday. They are “oldies, but goodies.” If you have read them already, you will enjoy them again. Richard Peck’s series featuring Grandma Dowdel creates sheer pleasure for young and old with its teen-aged protagonists and delightfully eccentric grandma.

A clue to the kind of writing you’re in for comes in the first sentence of the first book. A Long Way from Chicago begins in 1929, Al Capone’s era, with Joey and his sister Mary Alice leaving to spend time with their grandmother in the rural Midwest. Joey’s observation, “You wouldn’t think we’d have to leave Chicago to see a dead body,” indicates the good read ahead.

In the other two books, A Year Down Yonder and A Season of Gifts, Grandma Dowdel continues to entertain with different teenagers as the protagonists. I’m trying not to think about someone who would deprive you of this pleasure. I would be drawn into name-calling for sure. Instead, I give you this recommendation in time to locate the books and have a happy holiday with Grandma Dowdel who is “no oil painting” according to Joey’s description.