Archive for April, 2008

Mark Twains A’coming…

April 12, 2008

They are as young as five and none are older than 16, and they are publishing their work internationally. The authors on will capture you with their belief in a world of wonders; yesterday, today and tomorrow.
    You do, however, have to learn to read their heads. Where an accomplished writer entraps an audience by providing a full and emotional experience, these new writers leave most of the emotional experience still in their own minds. Then, so do many adult writers as any publisher well knows, and it is an editorial skill in itself to recognise something compelling from a basic manuscript. Then to get it out.

    These children are not asked to go that extra step; yet. Their readers are.  Immerse yourself in these dreams, thoughts and observations and allow your own imagination to fill out what the children are thinking and saying. At the same time, admire their literacy and their enthusiasm; not to mention their humanity…

    …check this by reading of the lass who devoted most of her weekend on the Moon to teaching the natives numeracy. “The Aliens Who Didn’t Know How To Add”.  She changed their lives… (SillyBooks will have to offer a course in “Basic Fact” at some point.)

…and the sheer poetry: Tree’s Song “The tree was singing, telling one of her many stories, a tale from her life.
Listen carefully, sang her leaves.
Listen to our tale.
Of ash and stone, of rain and rock, of winds within the vale.
So she sang of lightning and of thunder here, of the winds, water and gale…”

And, one of my favorites; the ending to “The Lonely Tree” by Tim:

“Will anyone help me?” cried the tree.
   Then a mouse appeared. “Hello old tree, how are you?” asked the mouse.
   “I’m sad, no one will help me be free so that I can make some friends,” said the tree. “Would you help me?”
   “I cannot help you, but I can be your friend!” said the mouse. “I hope that helps!”
   “Thank you so much, I shall be free! Free from this lonely misery!!”

To see an example of how magic the use of media can be in releasing the potential of these stories, look at the voiced, illustrated and animated versions of those so far given a professional production as “Winners” (check them on the site).  These have become small gems of entertainment the authors can be proud of.
    Yet authors for tomorrow is not what this is about. Literacy per se is the mission. To encourage children to put words down on paper or screen will open a better tomorrow for them in any field they choose; because they will be able to communicate. This is seedbed literacy at its very best, and teachers and parents alike are applauding it… and so too are the children, excited by the knowledge they will be published and may even see their effort become a multimedia production.
    It is exciting; and excitement is what, essentially, drives us all to do something more than keep ourselves just fed and clothed. But that can create excitement, too, for those who want for such basics: the knowledge that communication can give them a chance of having a full belly and benign housing.
    This project challenges the children, and adds excitement as an inducement, a reward; and they are responding, working both in and out of school hours to see their work on a screen they know can be viewed from anywhere in the world.

Your thoughts and comments on the above are very welcome, and can be shared by clicking on the “Comments” below.   Roger