No Power in Un

Children's books are GoldenAs I read through each of the suggested books that readers have offered, I have to make an important decision: Does this book belong on the list of Literature for Children? I admit this is extremely subjective. I’ve already run across two books where my decision of ‘no’ was the opposite of trusted friends’ opinions, making me rethink them.

But there are so many books out there, and no one has enough time to read them all. I want to direct people to the best possible literature for children. When we can focus children’s time and attention towards a book, it should be superior, not just okay. It should be like gold…a treasure.

For that reason, The Power of Un , by Nancy Etchemendy (2000), is not making it into the Litkidz library. While I appreciate the message she was conveying — the web of cause and effect in every event in our lives, and the importance of attending to each decision we make — the book doesn’t feel like literature.  The language was ordinary, the setting was ordinary, and only the unusual element of time-travel made it fantasy. This is not to say kids wouldn’t enjoy it–I’m sure it actually has ‘kid appeal.’ But there was no power in the Power of Un for me. Now back to the library to find another great work of children’s literature…