The Summer Reading Challenge 2017 celebrates
Hilda Offen's Message from the Moon
Wonderful to see Hilda Offen's Message from the Moon on the booklist for The Reading Agency's Summer Reading Challenge 2017! You can take part in the challenge at your local library this summer.
Have a look at the brilliant list of books for the 'Animal Agents' theme, and don't forget to get your copy of Message from the Moon!
'Why we need wildness in children's fiction'
Philip Womack for The Guardian
"IN CHILDREN'S FICTION this need for wildness is paramount. It comes with the territory. A very strong case can be made for the Greek god Pan, and all his attendant wildness, being the guardian of literature for the young. Children, beset by rules in real life, need spaces where there are none; and these wild spaces can show them limits.
Pan was the name chosen by JM Barrie for his deathless hero. Peter Pan embodies childhood. The restless spirit; the grappling with huge questions that seem to have no answer. His Neverland has everything in it that a child might want; except, crucially, the mothers that the Lost Boys barely remember. Theirs is the nursery game that has gone too far. Children’s fiction seeks to restore, to heal, to bring back to the house what has strayed; for Peter Pan this will never happen.
Wildness is an essential part of children’s fiction. It’s there to be tasted, explored, admired. But it’s also about learning how to control that wildness - and in the process, become an adult. The wild rumpuses of Where the Wild Things Are delight and exult: but they always finish with peace.
On Wednesday 1 June 2016, I will be doing an event at Waterstones Piccadilly in London with Katherine Rundell, whose novel The Wolf Wilder sees a young Russian girl dealing with wildness both human and animal; Anthony McGowan, whose Pike and Brock see children interacting with beasts; and Caroline Lawrence, whose Roman books deal with children on the run. We’ll be chaired by critic Imogen Russell-Williams, and we’ll be talking about Wild Children. What is it that’s so appealing about wildness? Come and see us - I promise it will be... wild! (The jokes will certainly be better.) It’s a free event, you just need to email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a place. Find out more here."