By the Book – Junot Diaz

3 Sep

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/02/books/review/junot-diaz-by-the-book.html?pagewanted=all

What were your most cherished books as a child? Do you have a favorite character or hero from children’s literature?

I loved Encyclopedia Brown as a kid. Donald Sobol passed recently, and that really brought it all back to me, how important his books were to my little self. I didn’t learn to read until I was 7, so I missed out on the early stuff, jumped right to chapter books, right to Encyclopedia Brown. What I loved about Boy Detective Leroy Brown was that (1) he was unabashedly smart (smart was not cool when and where I grew up) and (2) his best friend was a girl, tough Sally Kimball, who was both Leroy’s bodyguard and his intellectual equal. Sobol did more to flip gender scripts in my head than almost anybody in my early years.

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