Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A competition - make me a better person

My preparations for Dunedin so far? I am breaking my Docs in. I am (mentally) putting aside DVDs and books I want to take with me. It is going well.

Recently I passed my 700th post (I think this is post 702). I fancy having another competition. More on that later.

Meantime I am working on a few other more imminent things - principally an exhibit about my book While You Are Sleeping for the What Lies Beneath Exhibition at the National Library in Parnell, Auckland starting next Monday January 20th.

And thinking, always, about how I can raise the reputation of children's literature. Folk sometimes recognize the importance of children's books and probably do understand the value in switching children on to being readers. But there is a persistent refusal to believe that a children's book might be literary, like an adult book can be literary. That it might be clever, challenging, thought provoking and capable of making you a better person. This article has been doing the rounds on facebook. It is interesting. I have read a few of the books. I'm not sure they all changed me. I have read other books not on the list that 'have' changed me. But that's always the way with lists. I never agree with everything included, or not included - they are subjective entities. That's okay. But this isn't okay. The one children's book on the list of 50 life changing books is introduced by way of an apology. Sorry for including a children's book. I hope it doesn't offend you reader. Ya know its a children's book, but it somehow actually manages to still have a message that might be of interest/be beneficial to an adult. Maybe it was an accident. Okay - I apologise for my sarcastic tone (lowest form of wit, yada yada, yada), but the tone they have adopted encourages the continued subordination of children's literature to adult literature. This is the common consensus. And if it is never challenged it will never change. Children's books can be transformative for both child readers and adult readers.

So for my competition, to win a copy of one of my books (your choice of any of my books except Clever Moo which are now like hen's teeth or any short story anthologies I am included in as I don't have copies of these), tell me the name of a children's book that changed you (you can comment here or on facebook or Goodreads). I will pick my favourite - judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. One winner only - competition closes this Sunday 19th at 8pm. Examples for me would be The Earthsea Trilogy, The Outsiders, The Little Prince, The Changeover, The Lion in the Meadow, Where the Wild Things Are (...'and it was still hot'), to name a few... So get cracking!!

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