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Gun Shy: Girls With Guns

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Interesting, no? Most general views of the shy and the bookish—well, let's just say if there was a Venn diagram involved it would have a lot of overlap. But shy characters as the main characters in kids books? That's a little more difficult, mostly because just like in regular life, shy people are not so good at grabbing our attention. Which is sort of what you want a book to do, no? So really, the shy girl books tend to work in one of two ways (how's that for a bullshit made up belief I just came up with?): either the shy narrator has a rich inner life to which we are privy, with lots of luminous/incisive visions of the world around them (think of Laura in the Little House on the Prairie Books, who talks often about her paralyzing fear when she goes into town and has to see and talk to people), or, in the grand tradition of the seminal Ramones film Rock 'n' Roll High School, they have to have a PJ Soles to match the...whatever the shy girl's name was. Shy girl is matched with outgoing girl, so the story moves along but we are also able to experience shy person's vulnerability/sensitivity. Something like The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (oh how I love that book!). Or, for a sweet second grader like the one described above? This:

Interesting, no? Most general views of the shy and the bookish—well, let's just say if there was a Venn diagram involved it would have a lot of overlap. But shy characters as the main characters in kids books? That's a little more difficult, mostly because just like in regular life, shy people are not so good at grabbing our attention. Which is sort of what you want a book to do, no? So really, the shy girl books tend to work in one of two ways (how's that for a bullshit made up belief I just came up with?): either the shy narrator has a rich inner life to which we are privy, with lots of luminous/incisive visions of the world around them (think of Laura in the Little House on the Prairie Books, who talks often about her paralyzing fear when she goes into town and has to see and talk to people), or, in the grand tradition of the seminal Ramones film Rock 'n' Roll High School, they have to have a PJ Soles to match the...whatever the shy girl's name was. Shy girl is matched with outgoing girl, so the story moves along but we are also able to experience shy person's vulnerability/sensitivity. Something like The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (oh how I love that book!). Or, for a sweet second grader like the one described above? This:

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