More on Christmas Pig

JK Rowling’s Robert Galbraith mysteries turned out to be a lot better than I expected and now I’m a huge fan of the series.

Her recent book for little kids, though, is very bad. The plot is tortured. The story is humorless and narrated in a clumsy, annoying tone. The main character is supremely unlikeable. And he’s a little boy! How do you even manage to make an 8-year-old boy sound anything but cute?

Rowling is a capable writer but the reason why the book is so horrid is that her philosophy of childhood is completely off. She sees 8-year-olds as oversized toddlers. Kids are a lot better than what she portrays them.

I’m not criticizing Rowling for any political reason. In fact, I’m a dedicated supporter of her fight for women’s rights. But I’m a literary critic first, and the book stinks.

3 thoughts on “More on Christmas Pig

  1. I couldn’t get into Harry Potter at all and I tried several times. I find JK Rowling’s style contrived and annoying (especially when she’s trying to be funny).

    And you’re right, a lot of people can’t write children at all; the same holds in movies. Husband and I often comment when watching shows or films, “Why is this 8 yo or 10 yo behaving like a baby? Kids that age have a good sense for what’s right and wrong; they know when things are fishy; they are not so reckless to go toward a strange light/noise without a grownup. They are not this easily distractible. They know fear and self-preservation. They have complex thoughts and feelings. This kid is basically acting like a two-year-old. Or are our kids freaks?” Alternatively, the kids act too precocious, like mini middle-aged people, which is just as annoying. You’d think someone involved in making these movies has actually met a child, but often doesn’t seem like it.

    The same holds for teenagers, IME. I’ve had two teens so far, and that might be my favorite kid age so far. I mean, these are young people with strong feelings, a good sense of justice, lost of passion for life, really honest and open, and they enjoy pretty much all the things grownups enjoy — music, movies, books. They are super fun to interact with. But they actually have to want to interact with you (the parent), which they won’t if you violate their trust or their privacy (so, so many parents do this under the pretense of security; it’s such a violation, I can’t describe it). You have to give kids plenty of freedom to do their own thing and not be overbearing, and you have to trust that the wisdoms you’ve been trying to impart throughout their childhood have actually landed. It used to surprise me, but not anymore, to find out that they did listen even when they didn’t seem to. And parental words and actions matter a great deal.

    Anyway, totally in agreement that kids are really awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

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