Otis Spofford

As I am reading, I can tell the kids know what’s coming. They begin to shift their bodies uncomfortably.  They begin to give each other eyeballs. At the point that it happens, there is a collective intake of 7 year old breath.

Otis cuts Ellen Tebbitts hair.

My  kids are OUTRAGED. Cries of ‘he’s gonna get in big trouble’ and ‘holy smokes! that wasn’t proactive at all’ quickly turn into ‘he better watch it–he’s going to get his comeuppance’ and then….

‘If he did that today, he’d be kicked out of school!!’

Huh. I have spent a ton of time talking about how Otis Spofford takes place in the 1950’s and how things were different.

For example, Otis and most of his friends walk to school but not very many of us walk to school. Also, Otis stays home after school by himself while he mother is teaching dance.

As Otis is chasing Ellen and Austine to school each day, my kids said that wouldn’t happen now because what he is doing is called bullying.

At one point, he loses a friends football and has to earn money to replace the ball.  My kids were pretty sure that their parents would just pay for a new ball. I’m not sure I agree with them–they’ve got pretty decent parents so I think they would have to pay.

At what point has a book outlived its life expectancy?  Is there a life expectancy for stories? I love Otis Spofford.  He’s my kind of kid–spunky, independent and just ornery enough to be likable–or lovable if you’re the teacher. But should I be reading it aloud to my kids?

I’m not sure.  #justsayin’