Coming of Age

Miep Geis was an incredibly courageous woman, and her death represents not just the end of a piece of literary history, but the end of a generation of resisters who stood up to Nazi terror.  That said, I never particularly resonated to The Diary of Anne Frank.  The story itself is absolutely incredible, of course, and I read a fair amount of children’s Holocaust literature growing up, including Twenty and Ten and Number the Stars.  I feel guilty saying I thought Frank herself was kind of boring.  But then, I’ve never particularly liked exceptionally female coming-of-age stories, particularly ones with strong focus on bodily concerns and gooey romances.  I found Judy Blume literally unreadable growing up.  I was always kind of Team Paula Danziger, whose heroines were weird, and prickly, and funny.  And I still maintain that Fifteen is the best book about learning to date ever, especially since its tenderness is leavened with a healthy serving of tart humor and irony.  No one who reads that Beverley Cleary classic will ever see Macbeth or Carl Sandberg the same way again.