Writers, Children, and Nature
I've been writing fiction for children seriously for three years now. My goal is to write engaging urban fantasy novels for middle grade and young adults that will help readers understand more about the importance of the environment and how we can be more sustainable in our actions.
As a reader I've looked around at what is out there for teachers, librarians, and parents who are interested in the goals I've mentioned above and there isn't a lot of books with the approach I use, which is entertain and educate at the same time. Yes, there are a few ecoadventures like Hoot and scientific books to educate children, but not fun reads that help children to be more aware of the issues I care about.
Bibliotherapy is a term to describe what I am trying to do with my writing. The point of this approach is that people's thinking can be changed more through stories then by direct instruction. Early attempts by the education system at bibliotherapy were aimed at character education and stories were about bravery, integrity, honesty, and other virtues. Over time bibliotherapy methods underly many educational endeavors from stories about bullies and their victims to great novels such as The Diary of Anne Frank.
Most avid readers can recall a time when they were reading a story when the light bulbs in their head went on and they could almost feel the shift in perspective take place. This kind of effect is what bibliotherapy is about. If I can help a reader be more attracted to nature or more comfortable in pursing an interest in nature or more aware of the dangers of out of control consumerism, then my writing will be accomplishing its goals.
4/11/2013 04:50:42 am
Dear Lorraine: You helped me to do some of my best thinking at ESC, on ecology and our relationship with nature. The material has made its way into chapter 4 of the book I am hoping to find an agent for this spring, a spiritual and culturally critical self-help book on creating a happy, healthy and sustainable life on earth. Please check out my website and blog. How is your book coming along? I remember Nicholas reading it. All the best, Susanne
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