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Take me out to the ballgame...

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Wednesday, 26 September 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Every year at this time I am invited to a Red Sox game...skybox seat!  wine and shrimp and a private bathroom! Two years ago it was a great game. Last year, horrible. Last night? Mediocre.

I hang in there with the Sox in the same way that I stick with a favorite author even if he/she writes a bad book now and then.

Speaking of authors. Yesterday I got a phone call from a fact-checker at the New York Times. I like fact checkers and the fact that such people exist. A writer from the NYT had come to interiew me, has written the aricle, and now the fact checker called to be certain that I actually said the things that I am quoted as saying.

One of the things he read back to me made me reply, "Yes, I said that, but yikes. Does it sound snide? I didn't mean it that way."  He said no, it didn't sound snide to him. So there it will stay, forever in print in the NYT. 

What I had said to the journalist was that I tend not to read childrens' books. I prefer to read adult books because I'm an adult.

And it's true. Of course there are many, many adults who love reading childrens' books. But I'm not one (unless I have a small child on my lap.  That's a whole other thing).

I think I read fiction in the same way that most people...including kids...do. I look for a protaganist I can relate to, one who faces problems that I can imagine facing. Then I accompany that person on his/her journey, cringing when they make wrong choices, gasping when they encounter obstacles, rejoicing when they achieve their goals, grieving when they fail.

I mentioned in an earlier post a book called "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry."  The protaganist, Harold Fry, is, unlike me, male. He is, unlike me, British. But like me, he had experienced a long life and encountered losses and deep disappointments. There was something about his situation—his deperate and unswerving passion—that I could feel, and relate to, from the earliest pages of the book.

Now and then I can relate to a young protaganist in that way. But more often I seek out stories about those who have already found their way through the maze of youth and with some battles behind them are now facing those of adult life.

So the NYT journalist will leave in the fact that I said that. It was not said snidely and I assume that will be clear. What if he wrote, "I read adult books because I am an adult," she said, with an arrogant sneer?  Or: "I read adult books because I am an adult," she said, with a lewd wink and a knowing nudge?

Oh dear, I am making myself very nervous.

 

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Jane Hinrichs
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I'm a wife, a mom, a writer and an artist. Currently I'm working on a young YA book called Giant Sophie. I hav...
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Jane Hinrichs Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Ah, no worries. :D

Piper
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Piper Wednesday, 26 September 2012

I would read that with a touch of humor, not as snide :) I must admit, I love Children's books; however, I do not read them just for me. Some of the wonder is missing if there isn't a child there to marvel at the things adults tend not to be enthralled with anymore :)

Dawn Farmer
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Dawn Farmer Friday, 28 September 2012

No need for you to worry. I look forward to reading it!

I will occasionally read young adult literature for two reasons: sometimes I actually enjoy it, and because I like to keep up with what my students are reading or what is available to them. Teenagers are extremely perceptive and they know when you are trying to trick them. If I can recommend a book for them to read, and can do it from a "reader's" point of view, rather than a "teacher's" point of view, they are much more likely to read it.

And I've been waiting anxiously for months to get my hands on a copy of SON. I'm so jealous that there are fans who already have a copy. Oct 2nd cannot get here quickly enough. (Hmmm...I wonder if I'll be sick that day? I may have to stay in bed and read all day!)

Jill Denny
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Jill Denny Thursday, 04 October 2012

I'm with Piper - I would read that with a touch of humor as well.

I loved children's literature as a child and enjoyed reading many, many books. As I got older, left high school and entered college, I chose more adult books, ones that I felt I related to more. Then, everything changed when I took a class called "Children's Literature" as a requirement for my Teacher Education curriculum. We were required to read several children's chapter books, covering a wide range of topics. The first one on the list was The Giver. I remember picking it up at the local bookstore, dreading the task of trudging through a "kids book." Thankfully, that dread didn't last long, as I became completely lost in Jonas' world. I read it all in less than 48 hours. I gobbled up the rest of the books on the list, as well (Number the Stars was also there - my teacher was clearly a fan of yours!) and it was from that point on, I became a fan of children's literature once again. I've gone back and read all my old books from when I was a youngster - Where the Red Fern Grows, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Anne of Green Gables...the list goes on - and I've enjoyed every minute of it. I still read the occasional "adult" book, sure. But I think there will always be a large part of my heart reserved for the "kids stuff".

By the way...I am reading Son right now and it is wonderful. I even had an event on my calendar to remind me to purchase it when it was released (like I really needed reminding - October 2nd has been burned into my brain for months!)

One more thing: I'm an avid NPR supporter and listener. Can you tell us when your interview will be aired?

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