Daily Archives: October 20, 2008

The Wisdom of Eight Year Olds

“They kill themselves, you mean?” said Bod.  He was about eight years old, wide-eyed and inquisitive, and he was not stupid.

I was just reading “The Witch’s Headstone” from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book to my fourth graders and the above from page 104 caught my particular attention.  Why?  Because just a couple of days ago I wrote that perhaps the film of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas might work better than the book because the boy in the movie is eight whereas the boy in the book is ten.  However, as Gaiman points out so beautifully, eight year olds aren’t dense. And  I’d say they are certainly capable of figuring things out if their father is a toplevel Nazi and the whole family goes off with him when he is tapped to run a death camp.

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