"If it's not good enough for adults, it's not good enough for children. If a book that is going to be marketed for children does not interest me, a grownup, then I am dishonoring the children for whom the book is intended, and I am dishonoring books. And words.”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet
I've been reading a Circle of Quiet and I am in awe. This is a book to be read three, four times with a pen and a notebook because though small, it is packed tight with lovely insights and a unique view of the world.
This book has a permanent place
on my bedside now.
Madeleine gets me. She loves word and clearly is adept at weaving that singular magic of writers where she can string words and letters and phrases together and sends then straight to your soul. It's beautiful.
But this particular quote got me thinking about the sad state of children't literature these days. A lot of the books out there are, to be quite honest, squishy. Simplistic.
A great novel should be a great novel regardless of how it is marketed.
For example, some of my all-time favorite novels are young adult or children's: The Outsiders, Ferdinand the Bull, Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Tale of Despereux, Because of Winn Dixie, Leah's Pony, Thank You, Mr. Falker, to name a few.
And that is because these authors sunk deep and wrote good or even great stories and beckoned their readers up instead of writing down to the perceived level of their young readers.
Just a little thought for your Monday evening.
What are your favorite children's stories?