Friday, November 27, 2009

Random Thoughts on Paula Danziger's Can You Sue Your Parents For Malpractice?

Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice? held up to rereading much better than the other Danziger books I've revisited of late. It deals with many of the same themes as The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, but more subtly and more effectively. The characters (teachers, parents, cool kids, and rebels) are more complex and believable and, perhaps as a consequence, the family and school dynamics rang truer to me.

I also note that this is one of the few children's/YA books I've come across that portrays lawyers in a positive light. Perhaps it was one of the heretofore elusive sources of my own legal ambitions?

Finally, I must share the following passage because, holy dream date for the bookish girl:

     "Remember when you said you already knew about me?"
     He nods.
     "Well how did you? Was it my charm, wit, and stunning appearance?" I pretend to model.
     He grins. "No, actually it was books."
     "Yeah, books. I moved here during a vacation and didn't know people. So I spent most of my time reading books from the library. Almost every book I picked out had your name in it. Same with the school library. I figured we probably had the same interests. So I checked up on you a little. If I hadn't run into you and Bonnie that day, I would have met you some other way.
     Books. I can't believe it. Books.

Sadly, that scene will be nearly incomprehensible to contemporary readers who didn't experience a time when one signed books out from the library by writing one's name on the card in the pocket affixed to the inside front cover of the book. (And can I just say that I miss the history lost to us with the shift to a computerized system, although at the same time I can recall the embarrassment that that public paper trail could cause on occasion.)

So, a happy rereading experience all in all, not just for the book itself, but because it rehabilitates Danziger for me somewhat after my disappointment on my recent reread of The Cat Ate My Gymsuit.


Suko said...

I remember the days when you signed the card inside of books!

Your random thoughts are also quite interesting.

raidergirl3 said...

I had that book! I must have read it over and over. Love the quote, and it made me remember the book, a little bit. Great trip down memory lane.

Jeanine Sallos said...

Another favourite here. Kate, I like your taste in books (why am I not surprised, given how we "know" each other) - I think that had we grown up in the same library, we would have seen each other's names on many a sign-out card. Some of my Beany Malone books are from my old school library, and I love seeing my and my sisters' names on the cards!

Psyched and Such said...

Paula Danziger is my all time favorite (even more than Judy OR Lois) FTW YA author. You're kind of inspiring me to buy them all on amazon and relive my adolescence.