The Warren & the World is Story Warren’s weekly newsletter, providing a round-up of our favorite things from around the web as well as a review of what was on our site over the past week. We’re glad you’re here!
Around the Web
Flipping The Switch: From Consumer To Producer
Over at the Rabbit Room, Jonathan Rogers has advice for writers–but really, for anyone whose pursuits are creative. As you enter the summer with your family, may you be producers!
- “If you want to be a writer, be a reader.” This may be the most commonly-offered writing advice of all. And it’s good advice as far as it goes. But encouraging writers to read has always felt to me like encouraging teenage boys to eat three meals a day and maybe a couple of snacks. People who want to write tend to be people who are already reading. I think. Right?
So if you want to write and you don’t already read voraciously, you should probably start. But for me—and, I suspect, for many of you—the big question isn’t How do I read more? The bigger question is How do I stop reading and start writing? Or, to put it another way, How do I flip the switch from consuming to producing?
Classic Children’s Books by the Decade: 1980s
- Raise your hand if you grew up reading children’s books from the 1980s!
The 1980s were like a totally awesome decade, dude.
I’m really happy with this list of 20th century classic children’s books from the 1980s even though using the term “classic” is becoming more and more suspect as we close in on the 21st century. I included a mix of lesser known 1980s books plus a handful of classics you may have heard of, but may not yet have read.
The Magic of Story
- When I was young, one of the best gifts my mother gave me was a small green card that gave me access to the wonders of the grand ole’ Prattville Public Library, a midcentury brick building shaded by trees and situated near the river, faithfully guarded by overgrown, thorny bushes. It was a decent size for a small town book building. Families pulled up in minivans for story time, and the cheerful sentinel of the children’s “wing” was constantly bringing her greyhound dog on Thursdays. The floor was dressed in very flat and very firm green carpet in the large room, and one had to ask aloud for a key in order to use the cramped restrooms. This key was fixed on a large plastic placard as big as my head. No one doubted what you were about. I never dared unless I was quite desperate.
Research Shows What Books Do to Kids’ Brains
- The publishing industry has changed a lot for kids since the early days of Beatrix Potter’s beloved animals and the Dick, Jane, and Spot books that plagued every primary school in the US. We’ve transitioned from calm books about very well behaved children to superheros who fly around in their underwear and protagonists who save the day with rancid flatulence. It might be confusing to some, but generally, anything that gets kids reading is a good thing.
Unfortunately, that was the thinking behind a lot of the enhanced ebooks that began to appear when the technology allowed.
Around the Warren
A Pathway to Full Life
John Sommer explores how to prepare young souls without scarring experiences.
- There is an old Latin proverb that says, “Experience is the best teacher.”
What we really know is not the sum of our theoretical knowledge, but what we have accumulated through truth applied to our experience.
Though I hold this as foundational truth, as a father of four growing children it makes me shudder. There are many things I want my children to learn firsthand, but do I want them to pass through every shadowy place or every field of heartache to gain the wisdom possible on the other side? No, definitely not. I want to prepare them for this broken world and the challenges that come from living in it, but how do I prepare them without scarring their souls and muddying their feet with destructive experiences?
C.S. Lewis’s Wonderful Letters to Children
S.D. Smith recommends the collection of C.S. Lewis’ letters to children for all readers.
- There are so many reasons to recommend, C.S. Lewis: Letters to Children, a book both my (then) 8 year old daughter and I enjoyed immensely. Here are a few, in no particular order.
1. In all the letters, he treats the children he is writing to with great dignity and respect.
Something to Do with Your Kids
Summer is fully in swing where I live in the southern US, and I’m guessing it’s well on it’s way further north, too. So for those experiencing summer, here’s an activity for a rainy day, and for those on the other half of the globe who are headed into the cold seasons, here’s a reminder of the warmth and beauty of butterflies.
And Something to Watch
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.