Nate The Great by Marjorie Sharmat

February 20, 2010
By Anonymous

When I was about five or six years old we would have library day at our school every Friday. We would go to the library and choose book to read over the weekend. Now since I was an elitist brat during that time, this was a difficult task for me. I refused to pick up The Hungry Caterpillar, or Where The Wild Things Are. I certainly wouldn't go near If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and I wouldn't be caught dead reading The Giving Tree.

Basically, anything that was read to me in class or that was generally well received by the masses (being the four to six age group) I thought of as below my standard. Of course, I didn't think of it that way back then, but these were the undertones of my reasoning surely. I couldn't see myself reading something so common. This way I found refuge in a series of books called Nate the Great. This series, recommended to me by a very perceptive librarian, was a sort of off the wall set of books based around the boy Nate. Nate has a passion for solving mysteries and sort of alludes to a young Sherlock Holmes. He is friends with an odd, quirky girl named Rosamond who is seen as a kind of enigma throughout the series. She is an alternative lifestyle girl who keeps to herself and owns a lot of cats. Aspects of Rosamond were taken to form the counter-culture character Emily The Strange who appears to be a complete replica of her. The format of the stories is always told in traditional mystery style. Nate is given a mystery to solve, often by Rosamond, and follows the clues to find the answer often finding something unexpected at the end. The tone of the books was unusual and something that appealed to me immediately. It was quiet and melancholy. The book didn't have a cheery disposition commonly found in children’s books, but rather a slow, thoughtful one that I might even call eerie. They are brilliant books that I always thought should make its way to a wider audience of children. Though perhaps it would then lose its charm. Especially pretentious little brats like me.

The author's comments:
Reflecting on children's books, I recalled this gem and it's impact it made on me as a child.

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This article has 3 comments.

on Feb. 26 2010 at 6:31 pm
anditgetsworse, Okemos, Michigan
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Haha, thanks so much Mendy!

on Feb. 26 2010 at 5:50 pm
firelioness BRONZE, Okemos, Michigan
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Oops. I mean Kikyo. :P

on Feb. 26 2010 at 5:49 pm
firelioness BRONZE, Okemos, Michigan
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Nikhita! I LOVE this. It has so much voice. :)))))


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