The calendar is filled with notable days, some more quirky than others. April 9 is #NationalNameYourselfDay, and I actually have an appropriate middlegrade book quote. In Rebecca Stead’s Liar & Spy, we meet a boy named Georges.
My name is Georges, which is pronounced just like “George” because the S is silent, but of course some kids call me “Jor-Jess,” or “Gorgeous.” I don’t much care. There are worse things to be called than Gorgeous, even for a boy.
Of course, Georges didn’t name himself. But his new neighbors definitely fit in the quirky department. They’re not exactly conventional, and all three kids really did name themselves.
“I guess candy is pretty important to you,” I say.
She laughs. “You think? I mean, why do you think my name is Candy!”
“Or maybe you like Candy because your name is Candy,” I say. “Ever think of that?”
She stops smiling. “No. That makes no sense.”
Her mom turns to me. “She has it the right way around, actually. Because we let the kids name themselves.”
“When they were—babies?”
“Not babies, exactly. But by age two or so they had expressed who they were and what they cared about most. We just sort of—interpreted.”
She looks completely serious.
Candy’s not too complicated to understand. But her two brothers have names that are a little odder … and interesting once explained. Personally, I’d rather be called Gorgeous.
What would you name yourself?
You can read my full review of Liar & Spy (which is award-winning in addition to being quirky) on Goodreads.