Popularity of books

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 9 17:17:08 EDT 2003

--- Sally Odgers <sodgers at tassie.net.au> wrote:

> What do very popular *with children* children's
> books have in common?

> Father Figure - There's usually an adult/ being/
> hero who will advise and
> help and guide them. A safety net.

I don't agree with this one. I suspect that where they
occur it is because the author feels there must be a
Gandalf/Aragorn/Obi Wan figure in the story rather
than because that's what kids want. I can't recall a
single example of one from the books I enjoyed as a
child, and don't think that they are all that
significant in more recent works. And the  same goes
for a 'nurturing/safe" Mother Figure

> The interesting thing is that these elements don't
> all appear in every
> DWJ... Chrestomanci does (I suppose) qualify as the
> Father Figure and there
> are villains, but the Importance is often diminished
> in come way. The secret
> is there - sometimes.

I would have thought that the Secret is the one
element DWJ usually has, if you don't regard Secret as
hidden knowledge that the central characters have, but
rather Hidden Knowledge that is central to the story
that the characters, and readers, don't have, but


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