Q&A with Laurel Snyder discussion

Laurel Snyder
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What are your favorite "classic" books, and how do you feel they compare to new books for kids?

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message 1: by Laurel (new)

Laurel | 22 comments Mod
One of my books is Any Which Wall, and I wrote it as a tribute to Edward Eager's magical books. Another one of my novels, Penny Dreadful, mentions (or alludes to) a slew of other classic book titles. The book I'm currently working on makes reference to The Secret Garden.

We talk a lot about how kids read today, but I still believe they can learn a lot from the books I loved as a kid. I'd love to hear what you think about that.


message 2: by Tara (new)

Tara Hall (taralhall) | 8 comments Can they learn a lot? Certainly. Do they enjoy them very often? Not so much. It's sort of like when I read Dickens in high school. I know there's a good story under there, but the language and style is so far removed from anything I was familiar with that it was too difficult for me to enjoy. Certainly The Secret Garden was one of my favorites, as were The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. But honestly I usually enjoyed the movies more than the books because it was more accessible to me in that format.

I see kids buying up Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys frequently. They still love The Boxcar Children and Little House. But more of them like Harry Potter, 39 Clues, and other books they don't make them read in school.

I guess what I'm saying is that classics have their value, but I think it's frequently overestimated. There's just as much value in a modern book if it's a good story with a good message. Age does not the book make. :)


message 3: by Laurel (new)

Laurel | 22 comments Mod
Oh, I agree. There are so many awesome new books.

But one thing that bothers me is that I feel like the PACE of books is speeding up. Kids want more/bigger/faster energy, in large part because that's what we feed them. If they read Riordan (which is awesome, but...), they come to expect action on every page. As in TV or movies. Then it's hard to sell them on slower books, and I can't imagine what this will mean for them as adult readers.

I recently tried some older books with my kids, and it was interesting. We read the Wonderful O, and the Iron Giant, and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. They totally loved them, but in each case it took a day to adjust to the pacing...

It's just something I think about, as an author. I like books with humor and action, but I like small moments in them as well as big ones.. You know?


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