Every April Fools’ Day, I think of my friend Sam, who chose April 1st for her wedding day.
It seems like a funny date for a wedding until you realize it’s brilliant! They got all the venues and services they wanted (because who gets married on April Fools’ Day?) and everyone remembers their anniversary.
I love a clever fool.
I am working on something. A secret project (labeled “secret” because after years of writing, I realized I work best if I don’t share my story with anyone until it’s finished). I’m excited about it, and downright giddy about the fact that it includes a fool who isn’t really.
The concept isn’t new. It is, in fact, a variation of the underdog story prevalent in just about every popular middle grade and young adult novel you can think of. It is even a variation of a religious narrative: the lowest of all is really the greatest of all . . .
And when it’s done well, it is one of my favorite kinds of books to read.
The clever fool chooses to be the underdog; he hides his smarts, facing social ridicule, for a higher cause. Because I recognize how hard that would be (I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it), such a person is my ultimate hero.
So in honor of April Fools’ Day, I give you my favorite fool books:
The Scarlet Pimpernel (and its sequels) by Baroness Orczy
The Thief (and its sequels) by Megan Whalen Turner
and The False Prince (and its sequels) by Jennifer Nielsen
Have you read them? (Do!) Do you have any fool favorites to add?
These books can be enjoyed solely for their entertainment value. But if a moral can be taken from them, perhaps it is that we should have the confidence to not worry about what society thinks.
Like, say, getting married on April Fools’ Day. [Happy Anniversary Sam and David!]