emotional connections

Writing for middle graders (8-12) is such an imaginative age to capture. Kids this age are eclectic and curious. 

I've recently started a book that I feel the 'need' to write, not only the 'want'. I just finished listening to a panel discussion that included Rebecca Stead (author of WHEN YOU REACH ME).

Her comment on a question of voice was so succinct and eye opening:

"Kids at the ages of nine to about
 twelve don't talk about their 
emotions with their peers. 
Books are where they connect."

I'm just paraphrasing, but I suddenly realized how true this is. I read prolifically as a kid and I can see this to be very true when I consider the books I read over and over and wanted to never end. Books were an escape, but also a way for me to see that others had problems too. 

Writing characters that make your readers care has been drilled in my head and in my WIP, I really thought I was accomplishing that, but Rebecca's comment really hit home for me. I want to take my WIP that much further and that much deeper. 


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