[DWJ] Hi everyone!

Elizabeth G. Holtrop elizabeth at bouma-holtrop.com
Sat May 6 16:57:20 EDT 2006

>>"after nearly thirty years of screaming I AM NOT A CHILDREN'S  WRITER, CHILDREN READ MY BOOKS, THERE'S A DIFFERENCE," [the one she's  writing at present] "may be the first genuinely YA novel I've ever  written."
  Thanks for the direct McKinley quote.  Is that from her web  site?  I usually keep up on when she's releasing something soon,  but I didn't know she was working on a new one!  Now I'm excited!
  >>Who gets to decide for us all? Which set of mores is a must? Is  sex really so much more harmful to the child-mind than violence? Why?  Who says so?

  I remember my dad reading my sister and me The Grapes of Wrath when I  was about 8 years old.  He'd edit out the "unsuitable" content and  then come to tuck us into bed and tell us what he'd left out -- perhaps  from an attack of conscience, because he wanted us to get the whole  literary experience; or perhaps because he hates keeping secrets; I've  never been sure which.  He also read us Shakespeare, Ibsen, and my  parents took me and my siblings to see One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest  when I was far too young to understand that kind of play.  I hate  nightmares for weeks.  All the same, I appreciated my early  exposure to all kinds of literature and theatre.  I agree that  much of children's literature is very scary.  Anyone who grew up  religious, whether they remained so or not, will often have frightening  memories of the wrath of God or other religious teachings.  Some  of the most popular children's fantasy of today, which incidentally has  strong religious under-
 and overtones, is the Chronicles of  Narnia.  I never had nightmares from those, though the content is  certainly dark at times.  But the world is a dark and frightening  place, and I think it would be wrong to sugar-coat children's  literature to reflect only soft, squishy, happy things.  What I  *do* believe is that the best children's literature always offers a ray  of hope, as in the Narnia tales and what I've read of DWJ's  books.  Hope is possibly something children grasp better than  adults.
  Forgive the rambles -- I'm not quite sure where I meant to go with that.

  I've always had to run
    I don't know just why
    Desire slowly smoking
    Under the midwest sky
  ~Melissa Etheridge

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