Tuesday, March 26, 2013

wmmh #9

Children's literature.

I am 25 and still read books from the children's section.  I like to collect picture books for my future children (also handy to have when babysitting), but I really like to look at and read juvenile fiction, like the stuff I read when I was in middle school.

I like to keep up with Newbery, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King Award winners.

When I was a kid, reading educated me.  It shaped me, opened worlds to me while I lived my plain little Cincinnati life.  Reading inspired me to become a writer.  Honestly, I think I learned just as much reading novels as I did going to school.

It's fun to see how children's literature develops as time passes.  When I was a kid, I was devouring Nancy Drew novels, absorbing stories from Cynthia Voigt and Lois Lowry and getting my first dose of teen romance through Lurlene McDaniel.  I read Harry Potter before it became a big deal.

Much of what was popular when I was a kid is still pretty popular, like Harry Potter for example.  Let's face it.  I'm not that old, but old enough that I wrote my first paper on a typewriter and still recorded songs off the radio onto a cassette tape.

What I love the most about children's literature is that it shows how much life hasn't changed.  Children today are still dealing with many of the same issues that children dealt with fifty years ago.  Yes, a lot of life has changed, but at the root of it all, literature is timeless because it pulls out what it means to be human and that really hasn't changed.

Right now, I am reading Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston.  It has an interesting storyline, written in rhyme, and is a great book to read aloud, but might be a little dark for some parents' tastes.  If you don't want your child to hear about a lobotomist chasing a child on the demands of her caregiver, you might want to skip this one... Like I was saying, children's literature has changed a bit.

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