Right around the time that I signed a contract with my publisher, I gave my sister-in-law a copy of my first book. It was a rough draft, obviously, but I wanted her opinion of it. Her brain works on a very different wavelength than mine does, and I was interested to see what she thought of my story.
She hasn’t read the book yet, and I’m not surprised. To be honest, I would have been surprised if she had finished it before it was actually published. She has four kids in the house (one in middle school, one in elementary, and two in diapers), and a full-time career, and extra-curricular activities for the kids, etc. I’m surprised that she ever has time to read anything, no matter how long it is.
Last week, I got a call from my niece. “Aunt Katie? When’s your book coming out? We want to have two of them.” One – I melted. Awwwww. 🙂 Two – Wait, you’re reading my book? I don’t have a problem with this, since my book is completely clean. Theoretically, it could be read to a toddler. I was just surprised.
A few days later, SIL and I had lunch together, and I found out what’s happening with my book in her house. My niece, who’s eight, has to do reading every night as part of her school work. Since one of the adults always reads with her, SIL decided that this would be an excellent time to go ahead and read my book. Well, okay. I’m not going to complain about it! She told me that they’re reading (roughly) a chapter each night. The first night, they had to read the preface (which is about 6 paragraphs) and the first chapter together. After they’re done reading for the night, my niece has to write in a reading log the title and author of the book she’s reading, what part she read, and a brief summary of what she read that day. Apparently, her reading log looks like this:
The Provider, Aunt Katie, Chapter 1, Kenzie did an art project.
The Provider, Aunt Katie, Chapter 2, Kenzie had a weird dream.
I cracked up. I guess, in my niece’s world, one sentence is enough to summarize each chapter. I told my SIL that I HAVE to see this reading log as soon as they’re done with the book. I’m just dying to see how an eight-year-old summarizes a 90,000 word novel in roughly forty sentences. This should be awesome. 😉