Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why I Write For Kids (Reason #1)

School visits. How many writers for adults get to meet regularly with readers who lavish them with encouragement and share intimate details about their own lives? At the risk of bragging, but for the sake of enticing more storytellers to write for kids, I share a few excerpts from a packet of 50 or so thank-you notes I just received from sixth-graders (emphasis, spelling, and grammar all theirs):
...it was very exciting for me to hear a wonderful exquisite author come in and tell us what you can do if you put your mind to it ...

...I have read a few of your books and I love them. How you describe the culture and confusion of those girls is amazing. I am trying to be a writer too. But it is not really panning out ...

...one thing I can definitely associate with is what you said about your mother and how guests can barely walk after eating at her house, you have yet to meet my grandmas (Russian and Jewish)...

...thankyou for your phenominal powerpoint presentation about your life and your great overview of your amazing books. Your speeches were very mind attracting ...

...I was expecting someone boring and not able to speak English but you were neither of those...

...You spoke about getting your heart broken in middle school. My heart is in the works of being done so. Oh well. The more my heart is broken the more interesting my artwork will become...

...Although I have never been in the situation you were in, I do understand what it is like not to know anyone, or for that matter have no one like you. I liked that I could make this kind of connection with an adult, because it is rare that I am able to...

...I think you are correct and that stories, especially in books, can heal your heart...

...My mom and I had a long discussion about your story at dinner. I am one of the few kids you will meet whose favorite food is Indian food ...

...Jambo! I bought all your books I really enjoyed them (so did my dad). You can really make a great story. I'm finished with them and am reading it again, (its like my first time reading a book again). After reading the book I realized that im lucky to come from another country because I can talk 5 more languages than my whole english class can...
How many authors of fiction for adults get that kind of encouraging, interesting fan mail? Kids will often add stimulating postscripts with ID info, too, like these two:
P.S. I was the girl at the end who was talking to you about putting ferrets in the freezer.

P.S. I was the kid in the red hat in the second row who said that he liked to talk out his problems to himself.
So that's reason #1 (not ranked in order of importance). Stay tuned for several more wonderful benefits of writing for young readers that I'll share throughout the summer out here on the Fire Escape.

3 comments:

Susan said...

Mitali, those are priceless. Thank you for sharing them, and thank you for my first chuckles of the morning.

Mitali Perkins said...

Susan! You were commenting on my site while I was commenting on yours! How's that for crossing paths in the blogosphere? Glad you enjoyed these ... opening that packet and reading those notes felt like Christmas morning.

Pooja said...

My favorite was: "I am trying to be a writer too. But it is not really panning out ..."

Mitali, these are priceless. Thank you for sharing.

Pooja

Post a Comment