Spoonful 48: 2ND PERSON POV
If YOU guessed this spoonful on POV would cover 2ND PERSON, YOU are absolutely correct! If YOU also guessed this POV relies on the personal subject pronoun YOU, YOU are absolutely correct once again.
Traditionally, the 2ND PERSON POV is primarily used in how-to books with names like "How to Build a Birdhouse" or "How to Train Your Puppy." But this POV has been showing up more and more in children's literature, too.
YOU may be familiar with the CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE series that allows kids to make important plot decisions (making them brilliantly re-readable, as kids can get a new story every time). Or YOU may have read IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE by Laura Numeroff, which celebrated its 30th anniversity in 2015 and is still going strong. A more recent picture book written in this POV is the delightful WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN by Jodi Moore that states, "If you build a sandcastle, a dragon will move in." I don't know about YOU, but I'm itching to build a sandcastle to see if it works!
2ND PERSON POV doesn't need to be carried throughout the entire book to be impactful. In the adventurous PERCY JACKSON series by Rick Riordan, main character Percy occasionally slips into 2ND PERSON to warn readers about signs they might be demigods. In THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET by Pseudonymous Bosch, the narrator/author interrupts the plot to snarkily warn readers against reading the book. The fact that the author is an obvious pseudonym creates a blend of mystery, humor, and danger: kids must be brave to read this book!
If YOU choose to write in 2ND PERSON, keep the POV consistent. If you start with the pronoun YOU, don't switch to the nonspecific ONE or any other pronoun. This is because the reader interprets YOU as ME! If you use ONE, it could mean anyone at all and doesn't impart the same impact.
Thus ends my POV miniseries. To recap, I covered 3RD PERSON OMNISCIENT in Spoonful #45, 3RD PERSON LIMITED in Spoonful #46, and 1ST PERSON in Spoonful #47. Whether you write or wish to better comprehend what you read, understanding POV is critically important.
Thank you for reading and sharing A Spoonful of Grammar.
Laura Fineberg Cooper
2/2/2020 04:36:22 pm
I love this POV! And someday I'd like to write a picture book with this POV.
2/2/2020 05:22:46 pm
2/15/2020 06:04:24 am
I don't think I've ever written in 2nd person; might be a fun challenge. Your examples reminded my of the "Don't Read This Book" and "Do Not Open This Book" titles. I checked Amazon to see if I was remembering them correctly and was surprised to see how many titles used this same wording!
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