Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Don't let this ick-en-spick new cover fool you, The Secret Language is just as leebossa as you remember it. And I'm plugging it today because the recent Terebithia movie got me thinking about Nordstrom's only book.
Both are books about lonely kids, and about deep singular friendships and secret imaginings that make the world a bigger place. And while in Terebithia it's a pretend place that bonds the kids, in Secret Language, the shared device is an invented language
(I don't think I have to translate leebossa or ick-en-spick for you, even if you've never read the book. Remember your context clues?!)
My own childhood was this way. I only had one friend-- one REAL friend. But my faith in that friendship (and the private imaginary universe we constructed together) was what made the "real" world feel safe to me. And so books like this struck a real chord in me.
Now, as an adult, reading such books reminds me of what it truly felt like to be a kid. The same way that sitting under the dining room table can still make me feel eight years old.
There were different vantage points back then. Perspective was different. Experience somehow a little richer.
The Secret Language is a good book for bringing back such perspectives. It's a tree to climb, a fort you've built from pillows. Reading this book is like opening your eyes underwater to search for the penny.
(It doesn't hurt that it's set in a boarding school. I always wanted to go to boarding school. Then again, I also wanted to be an orphan. This seems crazy now, but that's because I'm a grownup now. Dang!)