And neither has Ada. And we don’t have to (although we will, probably tomorrow, after I manage to score a copy from the bookstore). Why? Because even though Ada outgrew this series years ago, it remains an enormous part of her reading life. In high school, my friend Rich had monthly Zep-a-thons, in which he listened to every album by Led Zepplin, in order, in a 24-hour time period. Ada does the same with these books—I guess I’d call her frequent re-readings, in order from 1 to 9, Bean-a-thons. Well, as of probably tomorrow, in order from 1 to 10.
Some parents hate these books and I’ve never been exactly sure why. I know there is pseudo-cursing (Bean says things like “ding-dang,” as in, “not a ding-dang thing.”) And are there important, relevant themes between the covers, about, well, anything? Not exactly. Although Ivy and Bean are always getting in trouble for something you know they should get in trouble for. But what I think makes these books really terrific is how dedicated their readers are to them. Even when they’ve outgrown them, even when they’ve found other terrific (and yes, more important, relevant books) to love. Ivy and Bean are funny, ridiculous, and never run out of silly schemes—kind of like Lucy and Ethel. Tomorrow, I’ll be waiting for Ada to rush her way through the newest installment, so I can read it, too.