Thursday, May 3, 2012

The ABC's of Middle Grade: W is for Wonder


This week should be Letter V's turn, but in case you forgot, V grew stubborn and insisted it came after C. And because I can be stubborn when I know I'm right, I consented to Letter V's misplacement in the alphabet lineup (but only because I knew V was right).

So today is W, and W stands for wonder. One of the reasons I read and write middle grade is because of its wonder factor. Kids have so much to explore, so much to learn, and so much to share; they completely get what it means to be filled with wonder. And they get that books will take them to wonder-filled places.

Sometimes, adults forget that the world is filled with wonder. Sometimes adults become too busy to remember the world is wonder-filled. I don't want to forget that or be too busy to remember that. I want to hang on to the idea that the world is full of possibilities--even when things go horribly wrong or when life hurts. I want to remember that in the midst of struggle and ugliness, there is wonder in the world.

That's why I read and write middle grade. To remember the wonder of wonder. Why do you read or write middle grade?

9 comments:

  1. So true Barbara. And it's a shame that being so busy seems to drive out that sense of wonder from our lives as adults. I want it back too.

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  2. I love thist post, Barbara! Wonder is the same reason that I love to write for middle-grade too. I definitely love that element of magic and possibility and wishing and I think kids are so ready to embrace this! It is possible to weave the fantastical with the realistic and these are my favorites sorts of stories. Thanks for the post!

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  3. I think because I started writing when I was a middle-grader! And, introspective though I am, I like MG's outward orientation toward the world as opposed to YA's inward orientation toward "who am I?" Not that I don't love the latter too, of course. I'm actually on a bit of a YA reading kick right now.

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  4. I started a new WIP that's YA, because I'm turning personal circumstances into a story, to make them easier. But I miss that about all my MG scenarios, I miss the wonder and the magic and the beauty of childhood. Of course, my teenaged character is pretty immature, so that'll have to do for now.

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  5. Interesting thoughts, you guys. Plus the wonder, MG is just plain FUN!

    As Marcia talks about the more inward orientation of YA, I think that fact that Kristen is using it to work through personal circumstance speaks to the strength of that genre as well.

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  6. The Middle Grade years for kids is really amazing and I too love that sense of discovery. It's not nearly as jaded as the YA experience with new things. It's fresher, somehow.

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  7. I love being a part of the middle grade world. Like everyone else has said it is fun, fresh and uncomplicated, as opposed to the sometimes "too real" aspect of YA.

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  8. That's an awesome reason to write MG. And that's why YA is so different to MG. The type of Wonder in YA is very different, but it's one I prefer.

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  9. I'm loving the YA responses as well! A better end question would have been: Why do you read or write what you do?

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