Monday, February 26, 2007

My Bad No. 5

Books can get you in trouble. Just ask Luther, Hus, Galileo...

OK, I haven't been arrested yet. But just wait till my godparents get hold of me.

You see, I have this godsister. Yes, you read that right. Her parents are my godparents; my parents are her godparents. So, we are godsiblings. Right? Only, we didn't get to play with each other very much when we were growing up, because of a tiny age difference of 23 years.

Nevertheless, I sensed a kindred spirit when I met my godsister during my vacation last summer. I was revisiting all my old stomping grounds, and mostly thinking that if I had stomped harder they might have stayed put. Godsis was at the age where kids get into the kind of books I'm reading these days (visit the Book Trolley for some examples). So I asked her and her mom, my godmom, whether stories with witches and wizards were OK. They said no. I don't happen to agree, but I sincerely meant to respect their wishes.

So at Christmas time, when I looked for a book to send to my godsister as a gift, I decided to go with one that I had read so I could be sure it was free of witchcraft and witches. Sure, it had a few trolls in it, but it was mostly about Vikings, and a poor innocent boy taken by force from his home, and adventures in the frosty north. I had read and reviewed such a book only a couple months previously, so I felt safe in buying it for her. I browsed the bookstore until I found a book that matched the description that I recalled from my own review; I bought, and sent to my godsister, The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer.

Problem: Later on, when I was reorganizing my bookshelf, I ran across the book I had read and reviewed. It turned out to be Troll Fell by Katherine Langrish. Whoops.

Comparing the covers, titles, and dustcover abstracts of both books, it is easy to see how I got them confused. Both have trolls, Vikings, boys removed from their homes by nasty grown-ups, and scenes that take place in the harsh winter landscape of Scandinavia. But one of them also has witches and wizards in it, and all kinds of pagan religious ideas mixed up with medieval Christianity. Namely, the one that I sent to my sweet, innocent godsis.

I did buy my own copy of The Sea of Trolls and have now read it. I enjoyed it, personally, but I would have liked it better without some of the panreligious syncretism. But maybe I gave that aspect more weight than usual because, in the back of my mind, I kept thinking: I am so in the doghouse with my godparents!

1 comment:

Sara said...

Ha, when I was going over your review, I kept wondering how you could've read the book without thinking, "Oh crap, what have I done?" Hope you're not in too much trouble.