10 Lies That Kids’ Books Told Us

Kids books lessons
1. You’re probably the chosen one. Yeah, and your Hogwarts letter just got lost in the mail.

2. Around every corner is a crime just begging to be solved. I can’t be the only kid who skulked around my house with a special iridescent spy notebook, taking notes on my family’s movements and waiting for a dastardly mystery to emerge. Sadly, my corner of the suburbs was largely devoid of forged wills, underground passages, and sinister men in turtlenecks.

3. You can never visit the same magic shop twice. I’ll be damned if even the coolest-looking junk stores are still there when I go back a second time (and antique shops boast a depressing lack of dragon’s eggs).

4. We can get along just fine without our parents! I’ll bet Little Orphan Annie never called Daddy Warbucks on April 14 begging him to help her apply for an extension on her taxes. And there’s no way Harry Potter needed to be told at age 18 how exactly to hard boil an egg. Can all of us say the same?

5. If you’re pure of heart, an eccentric billionaire will eventually take notice and set you up real nice. You may have to jump through some hoops to get there—including elaborate tests of your logic and goodness—but in the end the only retirement plan you need is to be friendly to all elderly eccentrics who cross your path.

6. Policemen largely exist to help cute animals find their way home. But isn’t it pretty to think so?

7. Eldest siblings are nefarious, doomed. Not to defend older brothers who let spit balls dangle an inch from your nose, or big sisters who read your diary, but older sibs won’t necessarily fall afoul of an old witch and disappear just days after going to seek their fortune. They might turn out just fine.

8. Running away will be a wacky adventure! All you needed was an adorable sum of money foraged from a backlog of birthday cards, an array of pantry snacks, and an extra sweater. A compass and telescope might be nice. Then you could head into the sunset and let the adventure begin! (Then end six hours later at a Greyhound bus station two towns over, with lots of crying and an angry parent pulling up in a station wagon.)

9. Inanimate objects can love you back. Just try to hold in the tears when you see the old tire swing hanging from your favorite tree in the backyard of your childhood home. It looks like it’s waiting for you, doesn’t it? Don’t even get us started on the tree itself. It’s loved you since you were born.

10. Turkish Delight is delicious! Nope.

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