Friday, May 13, 2016

Storyteller's Journey

Photo Credit: Public Domain
Books Can Be Stepping Stones

Childhood can be an extremely challenging phase for youngsters - I know it was for me. During that time of "ups & downs" reading novels can be a lifesaver for a young person.

When I began reading as a child I had no idea how impactful my love affair with books would be on my own development as a person. I was so enthralled with reading A.A. Milne, Gertrude Chandler Warner, Carolyn Keene, and later, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, and numerous other authors, that it wasn't until I was a college graduate that I realized how important being a bookworm had been. Reading all those novels, by a wide variety of authors, had aided me in navigating the challenges of adolescence & young adulthood. It was as though each book had been a stepping stone across the turbulent waters of my young life. When I completed one book, I went right on to the next. I believe it was no coincidence that my reading increased during the most challenging of times. It was as if the protagonist in each novel was a mentor and friend. A friend that I was able to lean on.

I remember one particularly difficult time in my "tweens" because I can vividly recall reading Nancy Drew - The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes with tears streaming down my face. I wished with all my heart I could be somewhere Scotland. I would even go see the mountain Ben Nevis, just like Nancy did. Little did I know that many years later - in 2014 - I would have my picture taken near the base of Ben Nevis.

No one can tell me that children's books aren't extremely important!
That one little book made such an impact on me that I read every Nancy Drew book ever written. As an adult, I collected the entire series.

Nancy Drew Books with yellow spines.

I believe writing books for young readers is one of the most powerful things a person can do to help improve our society.
Some well-meaning people might say, "That's great that you write children's books, but how does that help improve our society?"

Since I'm not only a reader and a writer, but a parent, I can tell you that getting a child's heart into a book is the best way to get his head thinking about something other than himself. Yes, well-written books help develop a child's imagination, which in turn helps develop intellect, but ultimately what we all need in our society is more souls who look out for one another. Hopefully the next generation will be more compassionate, kind, and generous. If a book includes a character &/or plot that leads a child in that direction, it's a winner as far as I'm concerned.

While reading exciting and entertaining novels will bring strength and joy to a child, hopefully some well-written children's books will do even more. They might just act as stepping stones for the next generation, providing them with the courage to help make the changes that are so needed in our society.

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