... they need them to live and to grow. - Me
Stories are equipment for living. - Kenneth Burke
Fiction gives life its form. - Jean Anouilh
Our appetite for story is a reflection of the profound human need to grasp the patterns of living, not merely as an intellectual exercise, but within a very personal, emotional experience. - Robert McKee
In reading Robert McKee's Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting, I found myself nodding and saying "aha!" more than once aloud. Embarrassing, especially as the kids were home on Christmas break. But much of what I had only intuitively grasped about story is delineated so clearly in this wonderful text that it felt, at times, like a revelation.
Just the experience a good storyteller would provide.
If you are a writer - a storyteller - I highly recommend this book. If you're a parent, teacher, or writer, I urge you to think about the stories the children in our care read. Those books aren't just entertainment - they are equipment for living. In a sense, any book a child wants to read is a good book. If a child is starving, you can't be fussy about what food they eat. If a child doesn't read, then any book that feeds their mind will have to do.
But if your child's plate is full, you want them to have the best foods, the kind with nutrients that will help them grow healthy and strong. If your child loves stories, guiding them to the ones that will nourish their minds is a gift of time you won't regret. (And the occasional cupcake is fine too!) Your child's reading deserves careful scrutiny and selection, just like any tools for crafting a life. Because what we read, throughout our lives, does influence us.
One of my resolutions this year is to read more - not least through the 2011 Debut Author Challenge - so hopefully we will have more reviews here at Ink Spells, and more books to help guide parents in finding good reads for those great, little minds.