I wonder what your favorite words would be? If you have not read Nikki Grimes, don’t miss Bronx Masquerade: multi-genre, many perspectives, a great story and lots of great poetry.
At a recent school visit, a student posed a wonderful question during Q & A. “What is your favorite word?” he asked me. Caught off guard, I said the first thing that popped into my head. “Dream,” I told him, “because it opens up endless possibilities.” It wasn’t a bad answer, but it wasn’t the only one I could have come up with. If I’d considered it a little longer, I might have said, “Hope.”
Hope is the how of surviving my childhood, and the why of the stories I tell. I can’t imagine a world without it.
There’s a lot about children’s literature that appeals to me: whimsy, flights of fancy, purity of heart among them. But the single most important element in children’s literature to me is the element of hope.
When I speak of my childhood, one marred by episodes of abandonment and abuse, I often say…
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