I’ve started what? 3 or 4 books over this last month and completed zero. Which means not only moping for me, but no reviews for a blog that was supposed to be all review-y and push me to read more. Fail.
But this weekend I went out with my little cousin, which is a rare feat, I’m saddened to say, and we wound up in the bookshop. I asked her what she liked to read and she pointed me to some cutesy graphic novels, which I’m found of too, but what about non-picture books? Any favourites? Apparently not.
So I pick up “All American Girl”, by Meg Cabot, and ask her to read the first chapter – a countdown of all 10 reasons why the main character, Samantha, hates her sister. There are several countdowns throughout the book and they all start at 10 and culminate in the first, main reason. I don’t know why, but I remember I thought that was so awesome – and tried repeating that in my journals, but always failed. Planning was not my thing. Ironically, that’s what my cousin first commented, with a glowing look. The I’ve Discovered Meg Cabot look.
I’ve converted another one.
When I was about 10 or 11, I found one of the Princess Diaries books at my school’s library, and proceeded to read it. I read several of them, all out of order because the library didn’t have them all and the missing ones weren’t always readily available at the bookshop. I devoured them. When I found out about the other Meg Cabot books, I devoured them too.
It was a quick, funny read. I had a great time with them.
And when the time came that I’d read all of the translated ones (it took forever for them to translate, at the time), I started reading the originals. That’s how I found out I could read in English. Meg Cabot was really good for that, because it’s mostly diary style, with very colloquial language so you feel like the characters are talking to you, which is very very good if your English isn’t all that grand (I was 13), but they aren’t kids books, so you get to improve quite a bit. I always thought I owed to Meg Cabot most of my English abilities.
When she finally came to Brazil, I was 16 going on 17 – my Meg Cabot-loving friends and I went to see her at a book signing/talk. We had no tickets because it was in another town, the line was huge, everything was a mess, but we somehow managed to get in, listen to her speak, with gleaming little girls eyes, and then got 6 books signed through nice people on the queue and a lot of persistence to get a photo. We talked to equally enthusiastic people. We laughed hysterically. We stared in disbelief whenever something worked. It was a magic day.
And now, maybe, my little cousin will get that too, with her friends.