Re-reading a Childhood Favorite

Have you ever re-read a childhood favorite and been disappointed to find it no longer means as much to you?


I’m sorry to say, I’ve been there. Every so often, books I remember as dear friends, as portals to magical worlds, as voices of transcendent wisdom turn out, when read with my jaded, grown-up eyes, to be, eh, sort of meh.


So, I was a little cautious to re-read Jacob Have I Loved, in preparation for Katherine Paterson’s upcoming Fall Festival appearance.

 I first read Jacob Have I Loved when I was twelve, mumble years ago. It rocked my world. It’s probably why I grew up to be a children’s librarian and a children’s writer.  TMI?  I’ll get to the point.  The point being…


Jacob Have I Loved is not only just as amazing, wonderful, meaningful, beautiful and moving on the re-read as it was when I was twelve; today it is even better.


I understand so much more now, partly because my reading skills have improved over time, but mostly because I have so much more life experience through which to filter Sara Louise’s story.  


And, to be honest? That part about drowning the cats? I skipped it when I was twelve. I’m so glad I read it all the way through this time.


Katherine Paterson will be here on Friday, October 22.  Click here to register.


Click here for critic, writer, and humorist Lizzie Skurnick’s take on Jacob Have I Loved. Read more of her critiques of childhood favorites here.

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One Response to Re-reading a Childhood Favorite

  1. LP says:

    I loved this post!
    This has happened to me so many times. Sometimes I’m disappointed — or confused, when scenes I recall with great affection are actually one or two lines…That happened to me with The Count of Monte Cristo.
    Once, I listened to a book on tape, thought it was hysterically funny, and pressed it on everyone I knew. Then I listened again, and thought, “Wow, this is deeply depressing…” Everything on a Waffle.
    I guess reading is really an alchemy of reader plus book, and the equation gives different results with different readers, and even when the reader is in a different place emotionally, age-wise, or other…

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