The Corner

Kid Lit

Savvy by Ingrid Law is an above-average book for girls, published last year. It’s fine for boys, too — I recently read it to my daughter and two sons, and all enjoyed — but the main character is a girl and so I think of it as aimed primarily at girls. It has humor, adventure, and just the tiniest dash of young romance. The author has a nice way with words, too. I’m never at a loss for what to read to my kids, but I picked this one because a friend suggested it and I’m happy to pass on the recommendation.

Tonight we started reading Down the Long Hills, by Louis L’Amour. The main characters are a seven-year-old boy and his three-year-old sister, abandoned on the prairie. I’ve read about two dozen L’Amour books, mostly as a teenager, but not this one, which I recently learned was aimed at “young adults” before booksellers turned this into its own publishing category. The first chapter is engaging, and includes a “teaching moment” on the very first page: I had to explain the meaning of “buffalo chips.” Hilarity ensued.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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