1. Vlad


    Just an observation, trout tickling is a real thing. Like noodling, in America, it is a fishing method that uses nothing but the hands. It was particularly popular with poachers in the UK (and elsewhere) and probably why Terry Pretchett used it in the book. Undoubtedly the UK audiences would have recognized it on the spot.

  2. I’m a children’s librarian, and this was my first Pratchett book, because I bought it for the library purely on the strength of reviews, with no knowledge of Pratchett otherwise– read it as soon as it arrived, loved it– and I on the other hand was afraid at first to branch off into his adult books, like maybe they wouldn’t be as fun! I’m impressed by Ben here, because although you had the opposite problem originally, you nailed the explanation of what makes a book middle grade. As someone who spends all her time with children’s and YA books, I can get itchy when people assume books for younger readers must not be as well-written or deep or interesting or whatever. What makes a middle grade or a YA is that it gets into the mindset of the middle grade or YA character, and you nailed that! (What makes a chapter book or easy reader gets a little more restrictive, because then there are stricter vocabulary and structural guidelines, but that’s another story).

    I also want to agree with Ben that this is a book that’s just begging to be read out loud. When I had just finished reading it for the first time, my younger brother had come to stay with me for the week– he was a teenager, but had always enjoyed being read aloud to and still prefers audiobooks to this day– and I just immediately started reading it to him, without even asking first! Luckily he too enjoyed it! Years later I got to read it out loud again to my own kids, and it was still fun!*

    Oh, and one of my best friends from college is a Liz who went by Elizabeth in high school, too. You could always tell when you met someone at one of her things who went to high school with her vs someone she’d met later because they called her “Elizabeth.”

    I think that’s all the comments I have about this one!

    *Most recently I have read Nation to them, so that was the first of your episodes I actually listened to, because rereading that one I kept thinking, “I remembered objectively that this was a great book, but MAN this is a GREAT BOOK”– so when I can’t even remember where I saw a link to your podcast, that was the episode I jumped on.

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