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Monday, February 20, 2012

When You Write for Children

“You have to write whichever book it is that wants to be written. And then, if it’s going to be too difficult for grownups, you write it for children.”
—Madeleine L’Engle

I've been thinking a bit about my favorite books. Most of them are old favorites which I read for the first time in elementary school. I always read at a higher grade level, so these aren't necessarily "grade school books." I'd classify them as Middle Grade, although some could probably cross over into a younger Young Adult market.

Why have these old favorites stayed with me for so long? I think it has to do with the nature of these books. Books written for younger audiences are often the ones that provoke the most thought and the deepest feelings. When you looks at today's mainstream YA, you see books full of teen angst and romance and rebellion. They've lost the easy innocence and deep truths that made younger books so important to me.

These are some of my favorite books, and some of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Are any of these your favorite, too?

Walk Two Moons

I've talked about this book before. Why do I love it? It's real. It's a story about love and loss and whenever I read it, it feels like I'm wrapping summer sunshine around my shoulders.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

It's about being different, and about discovering what's important. But that's the older me looking back. The 5th grade me who first read this loved the romance.

Bridge to Terabithia

I cry every single time I read this, even though I know what's going to happen.

A Ring of Endless Light

A slightly older take on loss and life and everything. The end is just so beautiful. Everyone remembers Madeleine L'Engle for A Wrinkle in Time, but in my opinion, this is the one that should be remembered.


  1. I also read The Witch of Blackbird Pond at a young age and loved it. I've never understood adults nowadays who say, "Well, that's more of a kids book," as a reason not to read it. ?

    1. People get stuffy about their genres and refuse to read anything else, which is just silly. The same thing applies to books written for a younger audience. I think people feel like they're admitting a weakness or something if they read a book written for a young reader. Well, they're missing out. :]

  2. Oh such great books! I agree, something so special about these. I fell hard for The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I don't know why.

    1. Yeah, there's just something so great about The Witch of Blackbird Pond. It's easy to fall for. :]