My grandmothers have always played a large part in my reading as I grew up. One grandmother gave me my favorite books as Christmas presents.
My Lola read these books with me.
I think I started noticing this unspoken borrowing sometime around fifth grade. I would come home from school and find Lola reading my copy of The Name of This Book Is Secret. She also got her hands on The Mysterious Benedict Society and Divergent.
But her favorite was probably Rick Riordan. I’m pretty sure Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief was the first book I found her holding. I saw her read through the rest of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus. I think she still has my copy of The House of Hades.
These were my favorite books at the time, and they continue to be my favorites to this day. I never thought it was weird that she was reading children’s literature. Sometimes we’d talk about the books after she finished them, and if I’d notice her reading them, I’d point it out. But other than that, we never joked or had long conversations about her reading style. It always felt like a normal part of my existence. Lola loves the same books as I do. Why wouldn’t she? They’re good books.
Seeing Lola read my favorite novels alongside me cemented my love for children’s literature. I saw myself reflected in an older relative I loved and respected, and I felt validated in the knowledge that these books appealed to all generations. In 50 years, I will confidently go through the bookshelves of my own younger relatives, knowing that my Lola had done the same.
This unspoken connection between reading strengthened my emotional bond with my Lola, and it might be one reason why I continue to read children’s literature to this day. I love knowing that this captivation with the genre can reach all ages. The adventure doesn’t have to end simply because you get older.
So thank you, Lola, for “stealing” my books. By doing so, you gave me validation and pride in my favorite novels.
And feel free to keep The House of Hades for as long as you like.