Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why I Live in the City

You know what I love about living in Philadelphia?  It's so close to nature.

As witness the following:

And Brian Jacques is dead, alas . . .

I never met the man but I was a big fan of his work.  Particularly because he was writing at a time when I especially needed his books -- when my son, Sean, was first old enough for YA books.

There are a sufficiency of books for adults, and easily a bajillion books for children.  But for that in-between transition stage?  Not so many.  Especially when you want them to be the kind of books that will encourage a youngster to continue reading with pleasure.  So for several years I was constantly on the lookout.

One day I was in the Barnes and Noble in Bryn Mawr and cruised through the YA section.  I idly picked up a copy of Redwall to see if it might be worth reading the first page.  There was a ten-year old girl sitting quietly on the floor nearby, reading.  She glanced up from her book, saw what I was holding, and made an instant sale of that book and many subsequent volumes by solemnly saying, "Oh, that's an excellent book."

In my mind, that will stand forever as a worthy judgment of not only the book, but the life.  Well done, sir.  You wrote excellent books.



Victoria Janssen said...

Hey, that's right at 8th and Market! Cool. Too bad the hawk didn't get to finish his lunch.

Michael Swanwick said...

He got all of it but the head. That's not bad.