The Best Medicine – In a Surprising Place

Everyone knows that laughter is the best medicine for whatever ails you, and I’m no exception. And the other night, I found it in a surprising place.

I’d been hormonal and cranky that day, and wasn’t really looking for anything other than an excuse to avoid doing work (this was at home, in the evening, so no, not shirking the day job!). I had won a kids’ book in a contest a few weeks earlier, and wanted to read it before I gave it away, mainly because the author is one of my WANA* friends. Curse of the Double Digits is a middle-grade chapter book, targeted toward kids ages 7-11. I’d planned to give it to some friends from high school who have a 7-year old son who likes to read, but that day, I’d learned one of my coworkers’ daughter was turning 10 this weekend – and the book is about a girl celebrating her tenth birthday, when everything that could possibly go wrong, does.

So I sat down to read. I knew the author, Lynn Kelley, is one funny lady, and the book looked cute. I figured it would be amusing and would make me smile. But holy smokes, I was literally laughing out loud from Chapter One! Curse of the Double Digits is about a girl who turns ten on the tenth day of the tenth month. Becky expects it to be magical, and her family has planned what Becky’s sure will be the Best. Birthday party. Ever. for a couple days later. Her whole class is coming, including a boy she really likes. But on her birthday, she realizes her bangs are too long. She doesn’t want her mom to cut them, because Mom always cuts them too short. So she enlists her best friend to help.

Becky’s scissors are too dull to cut hair, so they find her dad’s electric razor. At this point, I could just imagine what would happen, and was already laughing. What did happen was even worse (for Becky) and funnier than what I imagined, and I ended up laughing through the whole thing as poor Becky suffered one mishap after another. But all ended up well, and I was no longer grumpy, that’s for sure!

My daughter is seventeen. I haven’t read a middle-grade children’s book since she was young enough to still want to be read to, so it’s been a while since I read a kids’ book. Boy, am I glad I did!

So next time you’re down in the dumps, consider picking up Curse of the Double Digits, or another kids’ book. Because really, your bad day couldn’t be as bad as Becky’s–and you just might laugh yourself right out of the dumps!

Quick ROW80 Update: Hangar 18: Legacy is now with my editor. While she has it, I’m working on front and back matter. Acknowledgements page is done – so far, so good!

* What is WANA? It stands for We Are Not Alone, a guide to blogging, social media and networking for authors by Kristen Lamb. It’s writers helping writers, whether or not we’ve taken the course, and proving that we really are not alone!

How long has it been since you’ve read a kids’ book? I know a lot of adults enjoy teen books (me too). But what about books for younger kids? Got any good ones to recommend?

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.