One of the bonuses of driving to Great America on Wednesday was that we could finish the last disc of the recorded book that we were listening to when we drove to Michigan. It was a book that J. and I were interested in and wanted to hear the end of, so we were thrilled that Great America took 45 minutes to get to.
And what was the book? It was Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner. The actress reading the book was particularly good, so I can also recommend the recorded version. (And look! I've recovered my Amazon Associates information so you can all go back to buying things through my link, thus sending a teeny, tiny bit of money my way. Thanks.)
It was the good combination of a well-written book with a story that was exciting enough for the younger crowd, but had some interesting ideas to think about for the adults. It has had me thinking about the idea of safety for a couple of days now.
We live in a society that is a wee bit safety obsessed. While safety isn't a bad thing, I have to wonder if we have veered off to the ridiculous. Sometimes we act as if we can keep our children perfectly safe if we do all the right things, and the truth is, we can't. No matter how hard we try, the world is still going to be a dangerous place. A better question, I think, is to wonder at what point are we actually harming our children by trying to keep them safe.
Because, truly, this safety-thing has reached ridiculous proportions. Heavens, in IL, it is actually illegal to leave a 13 year old home by him or herself. Really. If you are never on your own for a little bit, how do you learn to make choices? to use your own resources? to think through problems? I would much rather have to rescue a 12 or 13 year old from their poor 12 or 13 year old level of problems than a 20 year old. The stakes get higher as the child gets older. The book asks us to think about the question: When does keeping someone safe actually start to harm them?
Of course there are other interesting things in the book... a museum that has a life of its own, bristle hounds, escapes, danger, a huge storm. I'm going to see if I can find the second book in the series for our next car trip.