Kids reading adult fiction?

When I was in 5th-7th grade I read “Gone With the Wind.” We had very few adult books in our home, but GWTW sat in an honored place by itself on a shelf of the “What-not” in the Living Room. It was my job to dust that piece of furniture every Saturday. My paternal grandmother, who loved books, had given the book to my mother, and had also taken her to see the movie.

I had books suitable for young people….one about a flying baby elephant, and there was “Delicia” the doll, and “Rowdy” the dog and many more, plus suitable library books for children. In the seventh grade I even began on the Nancy Drew series. But……

That big book intrigued me, and, each Saturday, I sat on the floor in front of the shelf and read while Mama was busy elsewhere in the house.

I was fascinated. I was old enough to understand most of the “adult” parts by then. Baby birthing and certain sexual hints were not beyond me, thanks to slumber parties and the birth of my baby brother. But still, I was pretty sure Mama would not expect me to be reading that book.

She never knew.

I did eventually read the book as an adult years later (that was before we understood it as a racist creation.) But it was the most interesting when I sat beside the What-not every Saturday and read a few pages until I heard Mama leave her work in the kitchen area.

Forbidden fruit! What about you? Were you as daring as I?

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