Thursday, July 18, 2013

Children of a Lesser God

So I just returned from the lovely Provo City Library where I attended this conference.  It was awesome, and I think we should all meet down there next year so we can sit together and then go eat lunch at the Korean noodle house where Viv and I went.  WE WOULD HAVE SO MUCH FUN SHUTTING THE WHOLE TOWN DOWN!

Anyway.  Both Sara Pennypacker and the Steads addressed this attitude they frequently encounter, i.e. that people think books for adults are real books, while books for kids are children of a lesser god.  Or whatever that movie title was back in the day.

Have you encountered this?  Why do people feel this way?  As Lois Lowry pointed out, no one asks pediatricians when they're going to start treating real people?

And while we're out it, what books meant the most to you when you were a kid?  I may have asked this before, but clearly I've forgotten what you told me.

Thank you!


Michelle Renee Stimpson said...

I've heard this before. "When are you going to stretch yourself and write for adults?"

Are you kidding me? Writing for kids is HARD. It has to be simple, but not simplistic. It has to be age-appropriate, but not condescending. And kids can spot a poser a mile away; you have to KNOW what you are talking about.

My favorite YA from when I was a kid: "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret." by Judy Blume

My contemporary favorite: "An Abundance of Katherines" by John Green

Kim Webb Reid said...

I always credit Robert C. O'Brien's THE SILVER CROWN with opening my eyes to the awesomeness of reading novels instead of just picture books. I read it in 2nd grade and thought it was amazing and probably didn't have any idea what was going on. Now when I reread it, I'm still not sure I know what is going on. But a house blows up in the first chapter! What more could you want?

Megan said...

Prairie Songs by Pam Conrad, Beauty by Robin McKinley, The Romantic Obsessions and Humiliations of Annie Sehlmeier by Louise Plummer, and everything Lois Lowry ever wrote.

Bonnie White said...

I'm going to reveal my age here but I loved Lois Lenski in particular Strawberry Girl, and Prairie Winter.

jake&annmarie said...

It's all about story. I don't care if it is fiction, non fiction, illustrated, YA or an article in the newspaper. I love a good story.
The book that I have read this year that I think about the most on a day-to-day basis would have to be And Then It's Spring. It has fewer than 200 words. I suppose it is a children's book but my three year old doesn't care for it. I love it. It is as perfect of a story as I have read in a long time.
My favorite childhood book was The Wheel on the School by DeJong. It has a few illustrations by Sendak which has to be partly why I liked it even though I don't think I paid that much attention to names back then. I haven't read it since 6th grade. You have inspired me to pick it up again. Thanks.

BBB said...

Frankly I'd much rather spend my time with that 'lesser God' the kids hang out with.

'The Dark is Rising' series by Susan Cooper

'The Hero and the Crown' and 'The Blue Sword' by Robin McKinley

'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L'Engle

'Jackaroo' by Cynthia Voight

James said...

Cool Cat by Frank Bonham. I read it in the 7th grade. It spoke to me like no other book about African-American L.A. Ghetto life could speak to a white Provo boy who was the 7th grade class president. I promptly started a "gang" and got myself arrested to improve my street cred. I went from Student Government in 2d period to Deliquency Hall in 3d period, so Cool Cat was pretty meaningful to me.

The books that meant the most to me came in High School. I don't know if they are really YA lit books, but they are taught in High Schools...and they kept me out of jail.

A Catcher in the Rye
Huckleberry Finn
Cat's Cradle

Harker Family said...

A wrinkle in Time
Where the Red Fern Grows. (We cried all the way home on a road trip from California to Canada one year)
Nancy Drew
Nancy Drew
Nancy Drew

Lately I decided to work my way through the Newberry Medal winners.
This has been so fun.(Not exactly what you were asking for)
Here are a few of my favorites.
The Underneath (Kathi Appelt)
Holes (Louis Sachar)
Because of Winn-Dixie
Dead End in Norvelt (Gantos)
The Wednesday Wars

Lisa B. said...

Harriet the Spy. Little Women, for real. A Wrinkle in Time. Every single Beverly Cleary book.

Kim Woodruff said...

Anything by L M Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott. The Little House on the Prairie series.

Cindy Stagg said...

I read James and the Giant Peach when I was in the third grade. That is the book that hooked me onto reading all other books. I loved the pure creativity of the whole thing. I mean, who wouldn't want to sail across the ocean in a giant peach with giant bugs?

Murdocks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Luck said...

It's also the books teachers read aloud to us. "Charlotte's Web" is a classic; was way back when.