I was the youngest of four in a house with a cat and a dog, plus the occasional hamster, hermit crab, and a series of chameleons who would disappear and mysteriously wind up in the dryer. Despite this, my mother tried valiantly to keep tabs on me. At nine, when I was caught trying to read Sybil and Go Ask Alice, she repeatedly warned against inappropriate reading material.
Instead, I filched my sister’s copy of The Shining. I propped my social studies textbook on end and hid it inside, reading voraciously while Mrs. Denevan tended to the more flamboyant rulebreakers.