Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
I've been reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to N at bedtime. I hadn't read it since I was in 2nd grade, and am pleased that it's almost as good as I remember (although the mother is pretty annoying). But I had realized how much it would be a guide to the changes in parenting practice since it was written (1972).
- Peter (age 9) gets to go to Central Park without an adult, as long as he's with another kid.
- But not because it's safer than today — Peter says his friend has been mugged three times, and he assumes he'll get mugged someday too.
- Three fourth graders are left alone in charge of a 2 1/2 year old.
- The reason Mrs. Hatcher goes back to the apartment is that she realizes that she forgot to turn the oven ON.
- At Fudge's 3rd birthday party, the other kids are all dropped off and their parents leave — even though one kid is a known biter and another is terrified.
It looks like all of the Judy Blume books are still in print. I remember reading a few years ago that she had updated Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret to update the references to sanitary napkins with belts (which were dated when I read it 30 years ago). I don't know if she made changes to any of the other books.
What children's book of the past decade do you think our kids will be reading to their kids 37 years from now? And what in them will seem most dated?