My 10-year-old son just finished reading THE BOOK THIEF. He worked on it for several days, but it’s literacy month at his elementary school, so he’s got loads of external push for reading a bunch of minutes. Today he spent two and a half hours finishing it, and when he was done, he walked down the stairs, sighed a great 10-year-old sigh, said, “That was so good,” and climbed into my lap for a hug. I didn’t mention his flushed cheeks or the redness of his eyes. I told him “I know.” Because I do know. That is a brilliant piece of writing — a heart-filled work of art.
Tomorrow we will go to the Dollar Movies and watch the film adaptation. I’ll have the discussion about “different art forms” three or four more times, but I know it won’t change the disappointment he and his sisters will feel. They come from a line of people who feel personally offended by any change to favorite works of literature. Some of us grow out of it. Some of us don’t. Some of us slip in and out of the two camps — wishing things could be made visual in the precise way they play out in our heads for one story; being satisfied with a different vision for others. 
In any case, it makes me proud that he would tackle that book — all 550 pages, and that his heart is large enough to feel all the feels that go with it.
 For instance, I may never forgive the terrible adaptation of Kate DiCamillo’s brilliant DESPEREAUX; but I’d watch the film of HOLES over and over. (But, HOLES is really, really true to the book, thanks to Mr. Sachar’s screenwriting abilities; so, there you go.)