So now that I'm lucid (as lucid as one can be after a couple hours in their own head and a few glasses of wine), I realize that my reaction to the kid's distaste for conclusions was not really appropriate.
It doesn't bother me at all to edit out a lot of Twain's narrative exposition. It doesn't bother me to rewrite snatches of Peter Pan as I read it aloud, but their distaste for conclusions bugs the crap out of me.
Last night, Peter killed Hook, and the little jerks said, "Oh, the book is over." The book was not over at all so I yelled at them a bit and tried to plow through the ending. This is not a new problem: Crusoe gets rescued, eff the rest of it. You can make up your own examples, but as far as they're concerned, it's climax and shut the book (maybe it's a male thing). Anyway, when the shouting (mine) subsided, I just pouted and read the beautiful conclusion to myself. Then, I told them about it tonight while they ate a bedtime snack.
But it doesn't seem right to scream at them just because they don't dig endings so maybe I have to accept that shortcoming in their personalities and move on.
That's it. Happy Thanksgiving.