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23 Things I’d Rather Read Than Another Think Piece On What’s “Wrong” With Children’s Literature

Cristin Stickles

Staff Writer

Cristin Stickles has been nothing but a children's bookseller for the past 25 years. She has a lot of opinions about The Giving Tree.

  • An annotated edition of Fight Club with David Foster Wallace-style footnotes provided by all my worst boyfriends.
  • A transcript from the night I was conceived.
  • The toxic shock syndrome tampon box insert.
  • Dossiers on every Law & Order character seen unloading crates from a truck or ship.
  • My 10th grade midterm progress report where I was given “Too Much Unnecessary Talking In Class” by 6 of my 8 teachers, setting a new record for my household.
  • The shooting script for that Scientology commercial.
  • Mike Tyson’s autobiography.
  • The MTA poster that cites how many people were killed on New York City’s subway tracks last year (55), perpetuating my decade-long crippling fear of being shoved over the yellow line.
  • The Kardashians’ YA novel.
  • Closed captioning on a TV that is not in a doctor’s office or loud bar.
  • Christopher Hitchens’ Vanity Fair article about how women aren’t funny.
  • Captions on your Pinterest “Dream Home” board.
  • A biography of Eva Braun (author note: I own this in real life).
  • My college application personal statement that, at the time, I thought was a true and beautiful representation of who I was as a human.
  • Board of Education meeting minutes from a town in which I did not grow up.
  • Board of Education meetings from the town in which I did grow up.
  • Facebook posts that directly address dead relatives.
  • The lyrics to “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time.”
  • All the poetry I wrote about my parents in high school before realizing nothing rhymes with “divorce.”
  • Twitter updates about how few emails you have in your inbox.
  • Comments on a famous person’s Instagram posts.
  • One or all of the undergraduate lit papers wherein I referred to an interpreted connection in the text as “tenuous at best.”
  • One Direction’s tour rider.


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