Hey, It Beats Video Games

July 13th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

When we were much younger, a child author by the name of Alexandra (Ally) Sheedy published a book called She Was Nice to Mice. We specifically recall the title, not because the author went on to another public career, but because back then, our little skeptical brain caught a whiff of nepotism. Something about a relative in the publishing biz. Alas, we can’t find anything to support our vague memories, but we’re sure we’re right. If not about that, then something else. And we stand by our wise decision not to publish our first book — a rambling tale filled with adventure and some similarity to Charlotte’s Web, though we had not yet encountered that particular title.

Slate explores the phenomenon of youthful authors (we find it absolutely fascinating that we’ve encountered the story of poet Thomas Chatterton twice today — what are the odds?). Offering a bit of history and a J.K. Rowling angle (because it is true that a good story will inspire a budding author to try to pen his own tale), the article asks the eternal question: is it genius or obvious? And can genius be obvious, or must it be obscure? In light of recent news about a decline in reading, we did note that more people than ever are writing (we blame email — it makes the whole process seem so easy). We are happy to see that trend trickling down to children.

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