‘Blue Girl’ by Elizabeth Crane

Blue Girl by Elizabeth Crane, 2008

The magic trick:

Using magical realism to stake out new turf on the ‘growing up is tough’ theme

Growing up isn’t easy. What’s even more difficult? Telling a story in a new way about how growing up isn’t easy. This story very quickly stakes out original turf along those lines. And that’s quite a trick on Crane’s part.

The selection:

When I was four years old, the word BLUE appeared on my forehead in cerulean block-print letters. At the time I wasn’t aware that this was anything out of the ordinary. I thought maybe my parents were trying to teach me how to read. My parents thought I had taught myself to write. Oh, honey, yes, that is blue! they said.

What’s blue? I asked. I hadn’t seen it yet.

Silly, they said. On your head.

I reached for my head. I didn’t feel anything. They showed me a mirror. There were blue letters there. But I hadn’t written them.

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