Benjamin tends to ramble a bit when he’s talking. Not sure where he gets it, but I usually tune it out a little, so that it kind of ends up sounding a little like “and so then the tree possum bluejay played dead but we found a bird nest with giant bullfrog tadpoles in it and it’s really deep and I’m going to go wash my feet off ’cause I got poison ivy on them.” He’s my little brother, and I love him and all, but sometimes I just can’t listen to a whole speech about how he constructed his lego spaceship.
But a day or two ago, he finished reading some dragon keeper series or another by Kate Klimo, and since I read the first one years ago I asked him how the other ones were.
“They’re good, but the last couple books aren’t as good as the earlier ones. The first one was best,” he said.
“Yeah. The last one had a bunch of stuff about Santa Claus, and it was kind of weird.”
I could see how dragon books that veered off course could be not the best books in the world. I said, “Hmm, that’s too bad,” and began to drift back into Night Watch.
“What I really don’t like though is that a lot of the books I’ve been reading lately start off really boring, and it takes forever for them to get exciting.”
Cue an idea.
After a bit of thinking and about five minutes, I handed him Found, by Margaret Peterson Haddix. He frowned, opened it up; closed it; rinsed; repeated. “I don’t know… I’m worried it’ll be like the other books, all Boring, Boring, Boring, and only starting to get exciting in the middle…” he said.
I have since then heard the following comments:
“Oooh, that’s creepy…”
“ohmygosh he’s adopted.”
“Wow, that’s even creepier.”
“That’s just weird.”
And, most recently, “MUST READ MORE.” I think he’s only in chapter eleven or something.
His response has been really interesting for me, because he’s very mellow when it comes to reading books and watching movies, and stuff like that. He’ll get just as excited as the rest of us about a new Doctor Who episode, (“THIS IS THE EPISODE WHERE RORY COMES BACK TO LIFE AND BECOMES A PLASTIC ROMAN!!!” “NONONONONO DON’T OPEN YOUR EYES AMY EVEN FOR JUST A SECOND THE WEEPING ANGEL IN YOUR EYES WILL COME OUT AND KILL YOUUUU…”) and he’ll sing along with most of the songs from Frozen (He doesn’t seem particularly enthused about singing Hans’ part from Love is an Open Door, though) but he doesn’t normally make a big deal about books. “It’s good, but this bit here doesn’t really make sense,” he’ll say, or “In Johnny and the Bomb Wobbler’s granddad talks about shrapnel…” but nothing much more than that.
I guess he’s coming out of the Magic Tree House phase. Never really expected that to happen, honestly, just Jack and Annie on their next not-as-well-written-as-they-were-back-in-my-day adventure. In a few years, he could be reading the Westing Game and coming to me with questions about why Turtle is so obsessed with the stock market. There’s a scary thought.
Anyway, in other news, I got Night Watch from the library again, and it turns out that the mysterious Discworld book that lurked around the house for years that me and Dad thought might have been Hogfather was actually Night Watch. Kind of weird, that Evelyn remembered that. I walked up with it on top of a few other books, and she said, “Don’t we own that one?”
Sorry, what? I have no memory of ever owning this book… but it turns out we did, when I was four or five, or something like that.
I am now convinced that Night Watch was predestined by fate to be my favorite Discworld book. Something like the cracks in series 5 of New Who, or Prisoner Zero, the cool-ness of the book pouring into my mind, waiting until the time was right to become known, or something. It’s possible I’m over-analyzing this. Last night I started rambling and over-thinking about the phrase “forever alone” and the angsty teenage fear that one is going to die completely and truly alone. After all, how is it possible to be truly alone when you share the planet with six billion other people?? And even if you discount those, there’s probably going to be a cat or a dog or even maybe a family of rabbits that eat the clover in your backyard. Yeah. Over-thinking. I’ll just shut up.