So, the publisher sent along some copies of the boy book yesterday. G happened by as I was ripping open the box. I said, "Honey, look. It's my book."
"Yeah, so?" he said. And then: "Is this some kind of famous book or something?"
Well, no, honey. Not yet.
He took a copy, demanded to know who the kid is on the cover. (Don't know.) And then he sat down and paged through it, reading the subheads aloud and saying "boring" after each one.
He asked me to read some of it to him, and I did. I read the little section about boys loving bad guys and danger, and specifically natural disasters. It's a section about a mom whose boy came home from kindergarten asking pointed questions about the Titanic and how many people died and about drowning. G got a kick out of hearing this, so I got bold and and told him, "You know you're in this book a little bit."
That's a risk, and I knew it. Some kids hate the idea that their parents talk about them, and one mom I know had a complete revolt from her kids when one of them learned he'd been mentioned by name in a book--and it wasn't even her book. It was somebody else's book of essays, and it was just one mention. The kid didn't care. He was mortified that his name had been used in a book. Anyway, G took it okay. He said, "Oh, yeah? Where?" I told him that he was the kid who came home asking about the Titanic. A classmate had brought a book to school about it and afterward all the boys in his kindergarten couldn't get enough of talking and wondering about it. G smiled at the memory. And then he took the book from my hands and said, "Can I keep this?" It's in the bookcase in his room right now.
Secretly, I hope he never reads any more of it. It's not really about boys, after all. It's more about parents and teachers and pediatricians.