Monday, December 30, 2013

The Bobbsey Twins on the Deep Blue Sea - Laura Lee Hope

I managed to escape childhood without reading a single Bobbsey Twins (BT) book, even though there was a series reissue when I was a kid and eagerly devouring Nancy Drew mysteries. In the previous post, I explain how a smallish eBay binge led me to having a few BT books in the house, but I still didn't bother to read any of them until I needed a book to help me finish up the Color-Coded Reading Challenge.

Dear me, what can I say about this book. My copy has two copyright dates, 1918 and 1946, listed, so I assume my copy is from approximately 1946. And if you guessed that I pointed this out so I could talk about the rather dated things in the book, you would be correct - in particular, I was completely thrown by the horrible racial stereotyping of the "colored" help (who luckily for us both get a vacation in this book, so it's mostly confined to the beginning of the book, thank goodness). I realize that this type of thing seemed completely normal in 1918, and not too abnormal in the mid-40s, but it's still really jarring to a modern reader. I guess I usually say that it's important to keep these things in mind so that as a society we can learn from them, etc., but it still wears on me to read this type of thing, especially in a children's book. Maybe I'll let these books go to the used book store in 2014... it will make room on my shelves for more fulfilling books.

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