There was a line in a novel I’m currently reading that really resonated with me. One of the characters told another character a story and the second character asked, “Is that true?” The first character responded, “Honey…all stories are true for at least one person.” That made me think about two of my current projects — the sequel to Monkey Man and the Truth About T.M.S., both of which hinge on characters experiencing an event differently than anyone else. And I got to thinking isn’t that what ALL fiction is? Or even real life? Our stories (both the stories we, as authors, write, and the stories that are our lives) are real to us. But tell the same story from another character’s (or person’s) perspective and you’ve likely got a whole different take on it.
The book is John McNally’s America’s Report Card, which is an adult novel. I picked it up because 1) it’s set in Iowa City (well, the beginning was anyway) and 2) it’s about a guy who works as a test scorer. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve never held a “real job” (unless you count the three years I worked as a library page when I was in high school)…but I have held a few temporary jobs including bookseller, Santa’s helper and…test scorer. That was before No Child Left Behind, though…I don’t think I could do that job now. Anyway…it’s an interesting read….not quite what I expected it to be, but interesting nonetheless. And it’s always good for a children’s book author to pick up a book for grown-ups once in a while.