Sunday, April 12, 2020


Today I’m thinking about fiction, specifically the novel, a product of the writer’s imagination. I must confess that I cannot abide current novels where a single voice describes the entire story. It is like seeing actors walking onto the stage and standing there while a loudspeaker describes to the audience what the actors are doing.  No child would sit through that.

Children’s books appeal because there is always action and dialogue as adults discovered when Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland in 1865. Really good children’s literature has always been enjoyed by adults. Many of you may recall reading with pleasure E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.

J.K. Rowling published and sold millions of her Harry Potter series. Starting with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997, her books are avidly read by adults as well as children.  The stories describe Harry Potter, a young English boy, who is unhappy living with his adoptive parents. With the help of a friendly owl, Harry escapes into a magical world and has many wonderful adventures.

Why bring up children’s literature now?  The action and dialogue in certain children’s stories, even though fantasy, may provide temporary relief from the present grim reality of the pandemic.  I don’t hesitate to recommend them to you.