Sunday, September 30, 2012

Millicent Min, Child Genius... Related to Hercule Poirot?

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge Agatha Christie fan. In particular I love her books about Hercule Poirot, the precise, Belgain detective. Using his superior intellect and "little grey cells," Poirot foils murder after murder by arranging the details just so. I've always wanted to know what Poirot might have been like as a child. And I think I've finally figured it out. I think he would be something like Millicent Min, Child Genius.

This narrator cooked up by talented author, Lisa Yee is at first glance, very much in control of her life and everything going on around her. She's been identified as a genius, with an IQ off the charts and an intellect that's pushed her through to college classes at the age of eleven. Millicent knows exactly what will happen to her over the summer. She's enrolled in a Poetry undergraduate course and planning on hanging out with her grandmother Maddie.

But everything unravels when her mother signs her up for the local volleyball team. And there, Millicent meets, Emily. In a split second, Millicent realizes that she could have a friend. She makes a decision not to reveal to Emily that she's a genius. And that is when Millicent's journey really begins. Because a lot like Poirot, Millicent doesn't learn anything until she isn't in control.

I know what you're going to say. That's great, but I don't know many child genius readers. Well, you're in luck. It just so happens that Millicent faces something that all of us have faced... pretending to be another person to belong. A good half of the world out there has been in that situation, and the other half just isn't willing to admit it. For young readers, Millicent can show them sometimes even geniuses are wrong.

So for today, I thought to prove a point we could share... has there ever been a time when you have pretended to be someone else to fit in?


  1. I haven't thought of Poirot in years! I loved him.

    And yes, when I was in middle school, I tried several different personas, but way always too lazy to be anyone but myself for long.

  2. I used to read the Poirot novels too! Good to hear there's a young, female version of him getting ready to rule the world! Or just be cool, whatever. :)