This month . . . .

“Tell me that you love me, Judy Blume”
     Today at our house the last of the young-reader books went the way of all such things, or rather the way we would hope such things would go. In our case it was set on top of a brown grocery bag full of clothes. The clothes are too small for our youngest, or will be when they come back in season this November. The book, lovingly dog-eared, is too small for her as well. The bag will go to friends of ours, who will get the clothes (and book) to the right-sized children.

     She had already pulled two sacks of books from her shelves a month ago, paperbacks from different series, light, breezy reads that entertained her in her last days at elementary school. Books about children having the same kind of life as her, struggling to understand what it means to grow up and work hard in school (or not) and make friends and lose them, and win them back again. Books about teachers that turn into (or start out as) monsters, or super-heroes in their underpants. Books about dogs, and cats, and lions and sharks. She sorted these out into "books I don't mind giving away" and "books I want to save to read again, someday, when I'm in kind of a nostalgic mood." Some of those pages had been turned many times. The characters were old friends: Ramona and Beezus; Junie B. Jones; "Fudge" Farley; Big Nate; Greg Hefley. The sum of fifty trips to the bookstore — to a dozen bookstores, over ten years. More, even. She has always been voracious, head-down in paper and ink universes.

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