Childish Things – Charlie Close Review

The things that happen in childhood…we remember them all our lives.

Childish Things is a collection of seventeen short stories of childhood, as clear as if they happened yesterday.

Among the stories –

– A boy unwraps one last gift from his dead mother.

– A boy has a secret and the class bully wants it.

– A girl discovers her father in a single moment at the free throw line.

– A boy loses his mind to the joy of spring.

– A boy betrays his friend in a moment of heat and frustration.

The stories in Childish Things are arranged in the order of a season’s cycle, from the first day of school in September, through the winter and spring, to a campfire scene at the end of summer.

Each story begins with a short poem called a haiku which complements and illuminates the story. Several of the poems have been published previously in haiku journals and anthologies.

This is a book of childhood stories written for adults, moments of growing up as seen by those of us who have already grown up – or are still growing up.

This is a collection of stories that revolve around childhood and the (sometimes trivial) events that we hold onto as we grow up. There was a sense of melancholy about this book that I wasn’t expecting. It wasn’t that all of the stories were sad, but there was something a little reserved about them. Each story is almost like a glimpse into a child’s life, but from the perspective of an adult. I wasn’t sure if there was something I was missing while reading them.

However, this is a collection of stories that will stay with me. They were strangely personal moments, and even though they had no climax, I felt like they were the types of memories adults can remember from their childhood. My favourite stories were Jeffrey’s Last Trick or Treat, a comical story about the last time a young boy goes out for Halloween and Stubborn, another funny story about a father and son dealing with a tree in their backyard.

This was an enjoyable collection of stories, and I’d recommend it to others.


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