Nostalgia was re A new member/can you recomend a DWJ book

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Mon Jul 17 11:00:18 EDT 2000

>On Wed, 12 Jul 2000, Irina Rempt wrote:
>> I was a teenager at the time, and I positively hated all those
>> "problem books" that were being thrown at me by parents, teachers,
>> the media, in fact everybody except the school librarian who
>> understood me and gave me _The Weirdstone of Bringisamen_ and _The
>> Spellcoats_.

And Paul replied:

>I remember, as a teenager, avoiding all the books aimed at teenagers,
>which were all about teenagers with problems.
>I suppose they were supposed to make you feel you weren't alone, but
>what I felt was that I had enough problems of my own to worry about
>without having to worry about theirs as well. :)

In Reading for the Love of It, Michele Landsberg offers this quote from
Jill Paton Walsh:
        Though I think it is possible to learn from works of fiction, I
don't think it possible to teach from them...  One does not rush to give
Anna Karenina to friends who are committing adultery.  Such impertinence is
limited to dealings with children."

She also writes this about problem novels:
        "For anyone who has experienced reading as one of life's most
intense aesthetic pleasures, the very word "bibliotherapy" must sound
thumpingly perverse.  The thinking behind it seems inexpressibly crude:
Child is in pain from parents' divorce, give child a cheerful novel about
divorce, child will feel better.  The child is not a questioning mind and
seeking heart but a patient.  The book is a commodity, like a patent drug."

Couldn't have put it better myself!  :-)


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