"No more smuggling. No more shame," writes Laurie Hertzel in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul is allowing people like me to come out into the sunlight." What is Hertzel's socially unacceptable passion? Children's books.
Apparently she is not alone. On Feb. 19, the Red Balloon will launch a book club for adults who love children's literature. And bookstore newsletter Shelf Awareness reports that two other Midwestern bookshops are doing the same. The The Bookworm in Omaha, Neb., has a club called Aardbaark and The Bookcase in Wayzata, Minn., has been running the Chapter & Verse book club for adult readers of children's lit for about six months now.
There are also plenty of adult readers of teen lit. Many of them have already discovered Angelina Benedetti, who writes the "35 going on 13" column in Library Journal, offering teen book recommendations for adults.
Why are adults drawn to books intended for younger readers? According to Benedetti (who says her friends are always begging for recommendations), it's a chance to experience, “a quick literary fix without the padding.”