There is a rule at home during the summer that my kids can stay up as late as they want, as long as they are in bed reading. Sometimes I’ll peek in to see if they are really reading and catch one asleep face first into a book. Other times I’m greeted with, “hi Mom,” before one turns back to the book.
Recently, my own evening reading was interrupted by a surprised yell from the next room. Seconds later I heard small footsteps running down the hall.
My daughter threw open the door and slammed a paperback onto my night stand. I looked down and was immediately intrigued by the diabolical, grinning dummy on the cover. I thought she was coming in to tell me she finished it. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d received a 10 pm book recommendation.
“I can’t read this!” she shouted. “It’s too creepy!” Her eyes were wide and she was breathing heavily.
I need to point out that I have one tough daughter. She rides a motorcycle. She does karate. And she never, ever backs down when she fights with her brother. I was surprised that a book would scare her. There were no tears, just a look of disgust mixed with shock that stories could be so scary. She began to tell me about the plot in great detail, something with two kids, an old house and a creepy, evil ventriloquist’s dummy. I thought it sounded interesting, but I knew it was wise not to say so.
“It’s just creepy!” she repeated.
“You don’t have to finish it,” I told her, “just leave it here on my nightstand.” I wanted to be sure it made it into the pile for my own reading.
She wanted the book out of the house immediately. I convinced her to wait so we could trade it for something else she’d like. I promised I’d keep it out of sight until we did.
The trauma has been averted and The Creepy Book is now in a bag waiting for The Great Book Trade. Kids ages 5-12 can participate in a book exchange by bringing up to five elementary school-level books to trade with other readers. There will be a wide variety of books available at every exchange, not just the creepy castoffs.
The upcoming exchanges will take place in the children’s department of the Bellevue Library on Saturdays, July 19 and Aug. 2 and Aug. 16 from 10:30 a.m. to noon; and Tuesdays, July 22, Aug. 5 and Aug. 19 from 1:30-3 p.m.
Darcy Brixey is the teen services librarian at the Bellevue Library. She’d like to tell you she loves to read, but it’s an expectation of the job.