[DWJ] Writing for the young (was Dumbledore vs. Snape)

Elizabeth G. Holtrop elizabeth at bouma-holtrop.com
Mon May 14 19:35:57 EDT 2007

Thanks for sharing.  That is also why I read children's literature: because the good authors take their readers seriously and don't think they have to cram something down my throat, assume I'm a certain religion or another, or misuse punctuation in order to tell a good story.


Minnow <minnow at belfry.org.uk> wrote:Have I posted the "10 reasons I write for children" that DWJ keeps on her
study door?  They are a quotation she feels worth remembering.


1] Children read books, not reviews.  They don't give a hoot about the critics.

2] Children don't read to find their identity.

3] They don't read to free themselves of guilt, to quench their thirst for
rebellion, or to get rid of alienation.

4] They have no use for psychology.

5] They detest sociology.

6] They don't try to understand Kafka or Finnegan's Wake.

7] They still believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches, goblins,
logic, clarity, punctuation and other such obsolete stuff.

8] They love interesting stories, not commentary, guides or footnotes.

9] When a book is boring, they yawn openly, without any shame or fear of

10] They don't expect their beloved writer to redeem humanity.  Young as
they are, they know it is not in his power.  Only adults have such childish

The explanation that goes with this in small letters at the bottom is:
"There are five hundred reasons why I began to write for children, but to
save time I will mention only ten of them."

[This statement, originally prepared by Mr. Singer for the
occasion of his acceptance of the National Book Award in
1970 for A Day of Pleasure:Stories of a Boy Growing Up in
Warsaw, was read to the assembled guests of the Nobel Prize
banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm on December 10, 1978.
Reprinted in Nobel Lecture, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Farrar,
Straus -& Giroux, 1978.]

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