Well the end of March is almost upon us and, I must admit that I am finding the 2016 Classics Challenge somewhat, well, challenging.
The biggest challenge as always is time – as a children and young people’s librarian I do my best to keep up to date with current trends and new releases, as well as catching up on titles that have been shortlisted for awards. I’m about to start Carnegie shadowing with the young volunteers I work with (known as the “Imaginators”) and so am currently focusing much of my reading around that. (If you’d like to know more about shadowing, read Lizzie’s thoughts on the topic here).
However, it was precisely these issues that inspired me to sign up for the Classics Challenge in the first place so I am definitely going to persevere.
A few weeks ago, as I dropped my daughters off at nursery dressed as Peter Pan and Captain Hook for World Book Day, I decided that Peter Pan must be my choice for this month.
I have previously only ever seen / heard the story of Peter Pan as told by Disney and so am intrigued to see how much is different in the original book. I’m only a few chapters in so far so am yet to find out the answer to that question (although I’m guessing it’s quite a lot) but one thing I have already been struck by is the whimsical yet sophisticated nature of JM Barrie’s writing – whilst taking us on childlike flights of fantasy and adventure, there are quirky comments and asides that seem to be directed more at an adult’s understanding of the world than a child’s.
Although I struggled to get started this month, I am already ‘hooked’ on this book and know that I will now struggle to put it down. And that is why the Clasics Challenge is important to me – because, without that monthly deadline, brilliant books like this would stay on my ‘should-read-that-one-day’ list and I’d never know the true wonder of Neverland.