Monday, December 3, 2018

Dear Santa, All This Author Wants for Christmas Is...

... to give my readers HAPPY books.


via GIPHY

Let me explain.

In September I visited a school in north rural Alabama. The 6th graders were wonderful, and a few of them wrote me letters, which I responded to. Then a few of those kids wrote me again via email. One message in particular really struck a chord:

Dear Irene Latham,

Thank you for writing me back! My name is [name removed] from Cotaco School. I am very excited about you putting my name in your idea file! If you do put my name in a book, could I be a zookeeper, please? I am a fan of your books, creations, and adventures. I am not online very much but if you do ever make a book with me in it please make it happy and not sad. I have issues with my parents they fight a lot and I am constantly moving houses it gets tiring and I just need some happiness in my life. Thank You

--------------

"I just need some happiness in my life."

YES. I want to write "happy" books for this kid, and all the kids like him. 

Working on it...
------------------
Winner of the 2016 ILA Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award, Irene Latham is an Alabama author of many poetry, fiction and picture books, including Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship (with Charles Waters), which was named a Charlotte Huck Honor book and a Kirkus Best Book of 2018. 





3 comments:

  1. I love this, too. Books can be such a wonderful escape and they can change lives. Thanks for sharing, Irene.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for this reminder that we can write happy books as well as harrowing books, and give kids the chance to be zookeepers, too!

    ReplyDelete