Everyone’s a ‘Knucklehead’

Our EarlyWord Kids contributor, Lisa Von Drasek, has been writing here about her enthusiasm for Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka. This Sunday, she shared that enthusiasm with the broader world, in the NYT Book Review

She wants to mention to the EarlyWord audience that, since the book is Jon’s (hilarious) reminiscences about growing up, “it’s a great jumping-off point for a memoir-writing workshop with teens and late elementary kids. It would also be great for an intergenerational oral history program.”

For an example of how well the book gets people talking, check out the responses on the NY Times Paper Cuts blog, “Are You a Knucklehead?”. They challenged people  to post their own “entirely true stories of the most knuckleheaded thing — defined here as risky, dangerous, absurdly pointless or all three — they ever did when they were growing up.” A great idea to steal for your library blog.

Come to think about it, let’s do it here, but let’s change it. What’s the most knuckleheaded thing you did as a librarian?

I’ll start. Happily, I never did anything dangerous on the job, but maybe this qualifies as a bit absurd:

When I was working in Baltimore County P.L., we had the mandate to offer help, rather than wait for people to come to the desk to ask. We discovered that if we wandered the stacks well before closing time and approached people who looked like they needed help, it had the extra benefit of speeding along closing time.

I saw a young couple in the 300’s. Being a bit shy, I was never good at beginning conversations, so I blurted, “You look frustrated, can I help?’

You guess it, they were looking for books on sex.

True story; but as I tell it, I doubt it would happen today.

Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka

Jon Scieszka 

  • Paperback: $12; 106 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (October 2, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 067001138X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670011384

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