If you took everything that was coolest about James Bond, got rid of the foolishness about girls and martinis that fifth grade boys have no patience for anyway, and then, in a stroke of genius, got rid of James Bond, too, leaving just the villains,
School has started. Great news for some kids (a rare and exotic variety), bad news for some (more common), and mixed news for most.
Anyway, now that school rolling again, I drive the carpool van, and the other day, I ended up detouring past one of my city’s little wooden welcome signs, which proclaim our civic motto: “Wecome to W–. A Place to Be Somebody.”
On the first day of summer vacation when I was twelve years old, I got on my bicycle, rode three miles down the street through a tunnel of new leaves, emerged into lemon-colored sunshine in the middle of town, racked my bike, opened the front door of the library to release its peppery aroma into the juicy green afternoon, and saw a book with a fantastic cover awaiting me on the nearest wooden table: M.C. Higgins The Great.
Sometimes, as I ponder tactics for encouraging the “reluctant readers” in my life (typically late-elementary through middle-school boys), I cast my mind back to an earlier generation’s paragon of averseness, Mikey [Life cereal commercial]. Only instead of confronting Mikey with healthy breakfast cereal, in