“Can I read American Gods?” Adriana asked.
“What? No. That’s a grownup book.”
“What about Neverwhere?”
I finally looked up my reading. “What are you doing?”
“I finished my book. So I looked to see what Neil Gaiman you had on here.”
I had given her my Kindle to read one of her Junie B. Jones books, while I read my own e-book on the app on my phone. But I had no idea she knew how to navigate the Kindle well enough to search for a specific author. I told her I didn’t think I had any of Gaiman’s children’s books on my Kindle, but she continued to scroll through the titles. Finally she asked about Odd and The Frost Giants.
I hesitated. She’s a strong reader, but I was pretty sure the book would be too hard for her. I downloaded it a year ago in part because I wanted to read it myself, but also because I was screening it to possibly read to her. I had decided that she wasn’t quite ready for it yet and not mentioned it to her. But since it had been a while since I’ve read it, I couldn’t quite remember why I’d decided to wait.
“That one is a kids book, but it’s for slightly older kids. How about I read it to you? We haven’t read a new chapter book together in a long time.” I figured I could re-screen it as we read, and assess her understanding for myself. Plus, I do miss reading to her.
“Or I could just read it myself.”
That’s when I explained that I thought the book would be too hard for her. She gave me a Look, so I shrugged. “Give it a try.”
That was five days ago. Tonight when I went into her room at nine to tell her it was lights out, she handed me back my Kindle and flopped back onto her bed in exhaustion. I peeked to see where she was and found that’s she’s finished three chapters. Part of me thinks she’s reading it because I told her it was too hard and she wants to prove me wrong.
I’m okay with that.