Thursday, June 21, 2012

30 Day Book Challenge! Day 21: Never Grow Up

"No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty - except, of course, books of information. The only imaginative works we ought to grow out of are those which it would have been better not to have read at all." - C.S. Lewis On Stories: and Other Essays on Literature

Day 21: What is your favorite book from your childhood?

Confusing!!! Aren't I still a child? All my life, whenever I referred to "when I was younger" or "when I was little" I was greeted by grown-ups' smirks and chuckles. Then, suddenly, I'm being asked by my Little Friends to tell stories about "when you were a kid" and being asked question about my childhood - exactly when did the switch occur, please?

Anyway, I completely agree with C.S. Lewis in regards to "children's" books - and I was very blessed growing up to enjoy mostly good books which I have not yet outgrown and never plan to! That said, my first few answers would have been The Chronicles of Narnia and the Elsie Dinsmore series, but I've already mentioned those, so I shall instead answer:

Derwood Inc. is hilarious story told in the first person by an oldest sister about the adventures she shares with her brother, Jack. The Derwoods are a family of 8 in which, to quote Penny, "It takes some figuring to work out just who is who." Penny and Jack are the oldest two, and barely knew their mother, who died shortly after Jack's birth. Later, their dad re-married a widow - with a daughter from her previous marriage - and then their parents had three more children together. Dubbed "Derwood Inc." by the dad, this is just a plain ol' sweet story about the lives, struggles, and love of a big Christian family. Join the side-splitting drama of hearing Jack's Fifty-Ton-Mile-Long-Giant-Killer-Octopus stories, serving unsweetened cherry pie at the Ladies' Auxiliary Luncheon, and being "caught" stealing some sweet old lady's silver! Oh yeah, and there's a big mystery as Penny - who dreams of being the next "Amy Belle" of her favorite detective series - and Jack accidentally stumble upon and break up a gang sending information to Russia...but see what I mean? Even the mystery is funny! This is just about the only book that, without fail, no matter how many times I've read it, I can't help laughing out loud when reading again. Jack is hilarious, and honestly, I think I liked it greatly because it reminded me of my relationship as the oldest sister with my bro, Ben. :)


"Jack, how did you get out of there?" I tried not to let on how scared I had been. "What took you so long?"
He looked embarrassed. "I - uh - got locked in a closet."
"They locked you in a closet?"
"N-no. I-I locked myself in there by accident." He was gathering up our shoe-shine stuff, trying to act calm.
"You've been in that store two hours. Do you mean you spent two hours in a closet?"
"Course not. I'm not that foolish. I only spent an hour and forty-five minutes in the closet. The first five minutes and the last ten minutes I was as free as a bird."


"No, Penny. They're shipping their mattresses to Alaska. Do you know what is up there?"
"Really? Russia's up in Alaska? Doesn't that mean we own it?"
"No! If I knew as little about geography as you, I shouldn't let myself be seen in public, Penny Derwood."
"You could only do that if you were invisible. And you're the one who said Russia is in Alaska, not me. What did you mean by it?


and the one I quote all the time...

"Freddy!" I screamed. I ran in and snatched him back, but it was too late.
Jack and the girls heard me scream, and they came to see what was wrong. The tall bookcase wavered from the push it received. The topmost books plopped gracefully to the floor, and then the whole thing fell forward with a crash. Right across the bed.
"Oh no," Jack groaned.
As if in agreement, the bed suddenly broke.
...From downstairs, we heard the front door open. "Kids? Anybody home?"
It never fails. Things can go well for two solid hours, and the one minute when everything falls apart is the same minute that Mom and Dad walk through the door.
..."My hands have that itchy feeling that tells me I'm going to be holding a snow shovel soon," Jack said.


I think this book deserves the #1 Book to Make You Smile and Laugh award!


Emily said...

Just reading those quotes made me smile! This book is so great!!! :-)

a writing maiden said...

Absolutely!!!! I am so happy to see that someone else out there loves this book! We let someone borrow it quite a few years ago, so I bought myself a copy, so I could read it again. :) Have you read the other books in the series? We have all of them, and they are great as well! But Derwood Inc. very well could be the best!! It's sad how sometimes excellent books like this one aren't given much attention because of the publishers. Most people probably don't hear about it. :(

Mikaela said...

I haven't read this one, though I've heard all about it from Micah, and I've read Stuart's Run to Faith (by the same author I think? Could be wrong...). Perhaps maybe my favorite books from my childhood are the American Adventure series. Re-reading those now with the younger kids and enjoying them very much! ;-)

SarahJayne said...

Yeppers, Leiah!
Writing Maiden, it is sad how little-known this book is, isn't it? Despite all that it's one of the best! :) I have read the other books in the series (I don't know for sure if I've read all of them, but several), but I definitely think Derwood Inc. is the hands-down best of the bunch!
Mika, I don't know who wrote Stuart's Run to Faith, but Derwood was written by Jeri Massi. You should borrow it from Micah!! ;)