In some books, the simplest item would solve all the characters' problems. Think about it: if Harriet from Harriet the Spy had simply used a password-protected laptop instead of a regular old journal that can be easily stolen, no one would have read her secrets and none of her troubles would have happened.
Of course, if she hadn't kept the paper journal, there would have been no story to tell — and that would be a big shame because Harriet the Spy is a great book and we'd all have missed out on an excellent adventure!
This holiday season, I got to thinking about what gifts I would like to give some of my favorite characters. I feel that some of my gifts would help them solve their problems, and some of them are just things I think the characters would enjoy. So here's my gift-giving list. What's yours?
Flora and Ruby from Main Street: Welcome to Camden Falls by Ann M. Martin
Sisters Flora and Ruby spend a lot of time at their grandmother's sewing store in the small town of Camden Falls. Initially, the sleepy town and merry store seemed boring to the girls, but I wonder if that's because they hadn't yet realized how cool sewing can be! So in the interest of helping them out, if I could give Flora and Ruby a holiday gift, it would be an old fashioned, old school sewing machine. That way, the girls would better bond with their grandma, and maybe they'd send me some cool fashions as a thank-you gift. After all, who wants to go shopping for sweaters when the stores are so crowded?
Alec Flint from Alec Flint Super Sleuth Mystery #1: The Nina, The Pinta, and The Vanishing Treasure by Jill Santopolo
There are mysteries to be solved wherever Alec goes, whether it's missing teachers at school or missing items at the local museum. Determined to follow in his detective father's footsteps, Alec is a wannabe-sleuth-extraordinaire. That's why the Ultimate I SPY Wii game is perfect for Alec — with 3-D games, challenges, and puzzles, he can perfect his sleuthing skills without the risk of getting into any real-life trouble. Maybe he'll even invite me over for a Wii party!
Lyra Belacqua from His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
Poor Lyra — always getting lost in other universes and trying to decipher that bothersome golden compass! There are a lot of things Lyra could probably use, from a fancy GPS system to a cell phone to a map of the world. But even though she's always lost or on the run, Lyra often has a more pressing problem: the cold. She seems to always be freezing during her wild adventures — and I don't mean freezing like, “Oh, I wish I had some mittens.” — I mean COLD like, “Uh oh, my ears have icicles hanging from them!” So for all those times Lyra is lost in some snowy field, I would offer a useful gift: a cool tent. It's cheery and roomy and can sort of feel like home, and at least it will shield her from the weather during her travels. (Plus, who doesn't love tents? So much fun!)
Digory Beale from Fearless by Elvira Woodruff
It's tough times for 12-year-old Digory. His father seems to be lost at sea, and Digory embarks on a long, treacherous quest to find out what happened. But as fate would have it, he must learn to face his own fears along the way, and we all know that's not easy. So here's what I would give to Digory this holiday season: The Boys' Book: How to Be the Best at Everything. This little survival guide will surely come in handy for him, with its instructions for everything from building a raft (perfect for Digory!) to escaping quicksand and everything in between. Gaining some confidence in his abilities is just what Digory — and probably most of us, too — needs!
Have you come across any perfect gifts for your favorite book characters? Leave a comment and tell me what they are!
— Morgan, Scholastic Staffer