Dave Leys, author of The Institute of Fantastical Inventions share with us his thoughts on children and books.
What do I believe about children and books? Well books can be an escape from the world, where readers get to fantasise and deal with fears and dreams in a safe and fun way. But books can also be a way for readers to learn about the world and to rehearse things they plan to do. Books are incredible in allowing you to form yourself, or to escape being you for a while!
I think children want to be challenged and shown new things. They want to be treated with respect, so writers need to remember readers are adventurous and imaginative. Children – just like adults – also want to have a good time reading. They want the thrill of adventure, of danger, the amusement of laughing at themselves and others, and the satisfaction of seeing people solve problems and stand up for things.
The best writers for children say to the reader: come along on an adventure with me.I’m going to go real, real deep into this world. Trust me, it may seem crazy at first but it all makes sense!
Because fiction isn’t less important than fact, and it isn’t less truthful. In a strange way,fiction gets to tell the most important truths there are – about curiosity, love, bravery and how wacky the world really is!
Dave Leys lives in Sydney, Australia. He is able to read and walk at the same time, only occasionally bumping into parked cars. He wishes he knew more about science and is attempting to make that wish come true by studying the weird and wonderful world around him. In his job as a high school teacher of English, he gets to keep in touch with the wonderful sensibilities of young people and the marvellous possibilities of language.