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I remember reading the beginning of "Little Men" years and years ago. One of the boys likes reading about fairies and stuff like that, but they constantly discourage him. He says that he knows he must force himself to go into practical things and forget about fairies, that too much fairy stuff at a late age (I don't think he was very old!) was not healthy. I felt so bad for him, because it wasn't fun for him and he wasn't ready to let go of free childhood dreams.

Speaking of bullying, boarding schools and Brits, it makes me think of Eustace in the Chronicles of Narnia. It went on a lot about how he was bullied so much in school; I really could relate to that though.

Perhaps, in older literature, not necessarily British, there's a different idea of what childhood should involve, more practicality and stuff. :-(
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