Forget “literary fiction,” “historical fiction,” or “paranormal historical romance,” I’ve got a new genre when it comes to books I love — fiction narrated by children. I count Huck, Jo March, Scout, and When We Were Romans‘ Lawrence among my favorite literary characters. Flavia Sabina Delores De Luce (ok, so she admits she added Dolores “on the spot”) is the 11-yr old bike riding, chemistry-loving, sleuth of a girl behind Alan Bradley’s award winning debut novel The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and I add her to my list of pint-sized protagonists. It is the summer of 1950 in the English countryside and murder has struck Buchshaw, the mansion where Flavia lives with her two horrid sisters and her father. Our plucky girl is both delighted and horrified, and she’s on the case.
I’ve had a smirk permanently attached to my face as I’ve read her antics and I find her thoughts and perspectives nothing less than charming. Here’s my favorite (and a treat for you librarians!):
As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Obviously, she’s now stolen your heart as well. Be sure this one is in your collection.