Put Away the Fear of Childish Things

From whence the blog title came.

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A portion of my children’s books. They’re hidden away in the closet. Not for shame but for lack of room.

I enjoyed fantasy literature as a child: I put on the Sorting Hat and came out a Hufflepuff, I walked through the Wardrobe, I found the Six Signs with Will, and I fought the Doldrums with Milo. Then high school came along and demanded all my time and I fell out of reading like I once did. When I did pick up a non-school book, I soon discovered that I didn’t want to read the very grown up books that everyone else was reading, I wanted to read stories with magic and mystery and fairy tale creatures, but it didn’t seem like that was allowed. I had to “grow up.” I let my love for Harry Potter shine bright, but rather than read other “children’s” books, I hardly read outside of school at all. I’ve discovered that fantasy books indeed do exist in “adult” literature and enjoy reading those, but why did I have to stop reading children’s books? Because I was an “adult” now?

Then I discovered the essays of C. S. Lewis. Besides the world of Narnia, Lewis grabbed my interest in his discussion of fairy tales. I began to “allow” myself to (more publicly) enjoy fairy tales, with the visage of “studying” them for their interesting histories and the way they’ve transformed from dark and Grimm, to pure and Disney, back to gritty and modernized. So Lewis led me to a famous quote of his in which he explains that he himself went through a long period where he didn’t read fairy tales (in public) because others would have mocked him for it. Once he was older, however, he stopped caring.

 When I was ten I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. [x]

Though I’m only nearly half Lewis’ age when he said the quote, it still resonated. Why shouldn’t I read whatever I want to read? If I want to read “children’s” books, I should! (I’ll probably get into the age division of literature–a topic Lewis also discusses–later.) I want to be a writer, and I’m still figuring out exactly to what medium the stories within me belong. I have a love of television and have a blog about that, but I also like reading. I like reading fantasy and mystery and certain types of science fiction–and a lot of children’s literature exist in those genres. So why not also pursue that passion as well?

This blog will contain discussions on children’s/YA books (both new and older), articles, and issues of diversity in children’s literature in general, as well as children’s sci-fi-fantasy books specifically. I’ll post links and share pictures of Fairy Tales found on tumblr. It’ll grow and develop as I read more. And maybe I’ll work on some original fiction too!

Thanks for hanging out. Let’s talk about some books!

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2 thoughts on “Put Away the Fear of Childish Things

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