I’ve decided to put my children’s…persistence and the inspiration they give me to good use: I’m writing a book for them.
Two months ago, I spent a few days trying to create a great reading list for them, and had a tough time finding books that were both challenging, yet age appropriate. They are excellent readers, and love the larger books we read to them (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Watership Down, Harry Potter, etc.), as well as the books they choose for themselves. But they’re six and eight, so finding novels that are sophisticated, yet not too mature, is a bit tricky–as it is, we’re pausing Harry Potter after we finish Prisoner of Azkaban, to give our youngest a year or two to get ready for the heaviness of 4-7.
I researched recommended reading lists (Best Children’s/Best Intro to Sci-Fi/Favorites from my Childhood, etc.), and realized a lot of the books on them were published years and years ago–even younger readers were raving about books published well before they were born. These classics are now on their lists (a lot of Dahl, Anne of Green Gables, A Wrinkle in Time, etc.), along with a few newer books (Bridge to Terabithia, Inkheart, Coraline, etc.). And there are some I can’t wait to share with them when they’re a bit older (Stardust, Hunger Games, The Giver, The Hobbit, etc.).
When I mentioned to a few friends and family members how tough it’d been to find that goldilocksian fit, some of them pointed out that I’m a writer, so maybe, perhaps, I could write the book I wish existed for my kids. That’s what writers are supposed to do, right? Write the books we’d want to read. I do this for myself; why did it take so long for me to arrive at this realization for the kids?
Probably because I don’t think of myself as a youth writer, but I digress.
So now I’m writing it, and they know I’m writing it, and they persistently remind me that they’d like new pages to read, which keeps me on my toes. I’m accountable to two of the best beta readers ever. They are honest, and demanding, and sharp, and quick to giggle. I’m aiming to finish within two months.
33236 words to go.