Musings on children's and YA literature, the academy, and the relationship between them, from an English professor and mother.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Middle Readers

Earlier this year I read an ARC of Steinbeck's Ghost, a middle reader by Lewis Buzbee coming out in September. It's a wonderful novel, a mystery and a ghost story and a love-letter to the Salinas Valley (and to books!) all in one; I think boys and girls from 10 to 14 will love it.

In Literary Mama this month, Lisa Harper interviews Lewis Buzbee about his writing and his parenting. It's a fabulous interview. Here's a great passage on "growing readers:"

Parents need to provide households where they read to themselves for pleasure, and have books around, and then kids will come to it when they come to it, in whatever way they come to it.

This is something I learned as a bookseller. I used to have parents come in and say, I want you to pick out three or four classics for my daughter because all she reads are those horrible babysitter books, or all he reads are comic books or books about lizards, and I want them to have literature. I feel like that’s a great way to kill books for children. On one occasion I was standing there, picking out Dickens and Kidnapped and Louisa May Alcott for the parents, and the girl was sitting on the floor reading the newest The Babysitters Club book as fast as she could because she knew she wasn’t going to get it. For me it’s a rule: if a kid wants a book, you buy them the book.

Read the rest here...

No comments:

Post a Comment