My son Jacob is 8 years old. A year ago he was reading Captain Underpants and later this year he had moved up to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Journal of a Cardboard Genius. His sister, Kathryn, had recently finished The Lightning Thief and was looking forward to the movie. She was watching the movie trailer online and Jake became interested.
"Can I see that movie?" he asked.
Jake's mother and I have been pretty protective of his young eyes. A movie like that would not be one we would let him see at this age, so the answer was no. However, we had a weak moment when he proposed a deal to us - If he read the book, could he see the movie? To be honest, we felt the book was too high a reading level for him, so it was a safe bet.
"Sure, why not?"
Jacob all but inhaled the book. He read for longer periods than I had ever seen him do; tucked into the couch with his little bowl of goldfish crackers. Mary Lee and I quickly realized that he was, in fact, going to complete the book.
NOW what do we do....
We tried to persuade him otherwise, but in the end, he wanted to see the movie. From his readings, he pretty much knew where the scary parts were and would cover his eyes as necessary. For the Medusa scene, he wanted out of the theater all together.
At the end of the show he had a smile on his face and a spring in his step. He had read his first big-boy book and seen his first big-boy movie.
"So," I asked Jake as we walked out of the theater. "What didja think?"
"I liked it," Jake responded as he continued walking. Then he looked up at me and smiled.
"But the book was better!"