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Why write for children?

Every once in a while, an adult, upon learn­ing what I do, asks, “Why do you write for chil­dren? Wouldn’t you have more sat­is­fac­tion writ­ing for adults?” 

A cou­ple of recent let­ters from kids answer that bet­ter than I can. A third-grad­er named Iva, wrote, “Because my class reads your books a lot we imag­ine Pop­py as one of our class­mates.” Mary Rose, upon read­ing Iron Thun­der, wrote, “I think this book should be taught in schools and on the sum­mer read­ing list. Main­ly, with this amaz­ing [sic] writ­ten book I believe every­one can be involve [sic] chang­ing Amer­i­ca and the world in a way that will last forever.”

The way young peo­ple con­nect with and become part of what I write, means that I have an audi­ence who will take my sto­ries and make them part of their own life sto­ries. Per­haps the change will not be, as Mary Rose sug­gests “for­ev­er,” but to change one child’s life for the bet­ter, even for an hour, is a rare privilege.

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