Stubborn reading (was Re: YA/Children's/Adult Books)

minnow at minnow at
Wed Apr 30 07:09:49 EDT 2003

Robyn wrote:

>There is a book by Antonia Forest - The Ready-Made Family - in which one of
>the main characters spends a lot of time struggling through Persuasion for
>exactly these reasons. One sibling recommends the book slightly
>sarcastically, and then Nicola persists because people keep telling her
>she's too young to understand it. I love the references to this because
>they are very illustrative of her character, and also because there are
>subtle similarities between some of the plot of Persuasion and what Nicola
>is feeling.

I seem to recall that Nicola ends up feeling it was worth reading.  And
that she understands it quite well: "More than you'd think."

The Ready-Made Family's the book in which a five-year-old child is abducted
by a child-molester, isn't it, when she has run away to another town to
look for her dead mother in the house where they used to live?  After her
father has slashed one of the other children in the book in the face with a
riding-crop...  Not his own child, I hasten to add.  His new wife's

I do hope people Nicola's age are still encouraged to read that book,
because it does give some fairly sensible instruction on how an older child
might rescue a five-year-old from really serious danger, and without
upsetting the five-year-old too much.  Also it has some of the things one
might get wrong in that situation, so people Nicola's might not make those
mistakes, having thought "Oh, she shouldn't have done that!" as they read.


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