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Indebted: How to find gold kid lit

Our son's backpack is in the heavyweight category, slightly wider than his slim shoulders, always filled to the brim with a lot more than I think a person can rationally carry to school. He likes this particular bag, though, and will not hear of the kind you roll like a suitcase. I didn't think there would be space for one more thing in it today, much less a 650-page book. He was half way through Wonderstruck (Brian Selznick) and begged permission to take it to school.

Tonight, he told me a group of classmates gathered around, fingering the illustrations in the book and begging him to read some, which he did. It's in English, so they asked him if he knew whether it existed in Spanish. (It does: Maravillas.)

Finding a book to treasure, especially for a 10-year-old boy, is a rare stroke of fortune. How does it happen? For me, so far only one way: recommendation, and not just from anyone, but from book lovers in my spectrum. Not just readers, but ones I know well enough to tr…

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