Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dime Novels. What fun!

I love to read Dime Novels! For one thing, they are full of excitement, Indian scalpings, captured settlers, adventurers, and all-around colorful places. The trouble is, most teachers and parents (like my mother) think Dime Novels are trashy. They don't contribute at all to kids' literary skills, so it's hard to get away with reading one. (Even though I tried to tell her that all sorts of adults and famous people read Dime novels . . . . like President Lincoln).

Mostly, my mother would prefer I read books like Robinson Crusoe and Little Women. I don't have anything against reading about a fellow marooned on a desert island, but he doesn't have anybody to talk to until his man Friday comes along. And I liked Little Women the first time I read it, but one time is definitely enough. (I told Mother that Louisa May Alcott wrote dime novels, but I don't think she believed me. But it's true!)

When I found one of Mitch's dime novels lying around, I snatched it up right away! I mean, with a title like Crack Skull Bob and an Indian fight on the cover, how can you go wrong? I sweet-talked Mitch into letting me read it, and when Mother saw me curled up on the settee, she just shook her head and sighed. I guess that means I can keep reading it. And a good thing, too! I was just getting to the part where the Indian was getting ready to scalp the settler, and I would have died if Mother had taken it away.

They call these paperback books "Dime Novels" because they cost a dime to buy. Mitch has a whole slew of them--he likes to read these kinds of books. Justin, he doesn't read anything but his law books and the newspaper. Chad . . . well, I don't think he likes to read at all. But Melinda and I? We both like Dime Novels.

But Mitch warned me not to ever, ever, ever take it to school. The schoolmaster will snatch it right out of my hands and tear it up in front of me. Then I'll probably get stuck writing a thousand sentences about only reading books that improve my mind. I want to read books that improve my imagination!

If you want to learn more about the famous Dime Novels of the late 1800s and early 1900s, go here: DIME NOVELS


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