in Chicago Tribune: the inherent wisdom of middle-grade books

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Several few months ago, I sat on the couch in my family room reading and re-reading middle-grade books. I had reached an end of sorts with young-adult fiction—had grown concerned about the divisions, the animosities, even, that festered among some YA camps and were splitting writers from writers from (ultimately) readers.

I read the most beloved of the new middle-grade stories to be alive again to pure story itself. I read in search of binding patterns. I read, and I thought.

This essay, now published in Printers Row/Chicago Tribune, reports back on some of the thoughts I had. What makes a middle-grade story lasting? What gives a middle-grade tale wisdom of the transcendent, inarguable sort?


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