When my sister Pete and I were about eight and nine, my mother gave us a huge box of books. They were old and had been hers since she was young. Alice in Wonderland, The Secret Garden, and Little Women nestled among less familiar titles.
I can remember getting totally absorbed in some stories and casting aside others after a few pages or chapters. Pete devoured some of the ones I cast aside. That was my first experience with differing tastes. My favorite books were not her favorite books. Nancy Drew was OK, but I didn’t love her the way Pete did. I preferred Trixie Belden or the Hardy Boys. They seemed more like people I could be friends with.
Now I belong to a book group. We read books and share what we like and what we don’t recommend. There are books we all love, but sometimes our opinions vary widely. We often hear someone say, “You liked that? I just couldn’t get into it.”
|2013 Newbery award recipient.|
One writing instructor told me, “Today’s kids won’t read lyrical narrative.” Another was leery of so general a statement. Some kids won’t read it, but others will and will hunger for more.
Message to publishers: Don’t lump all kids together. Tastes differ. Please provide books for varying tastes.
I know, I know. It’s all about what will sell in big numbers. And that’s a shame, because there are still kids who are like the kid I was, kids who want something a little different from what the next kid (or sibling) is reading.
|You're never too young.|