What kids’ book influenced you the most?
Authors and educators talked about the children’s book that influenced you the most at a writing conference, reports Education Week.
There were shout-outs for Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby series.
When I was 6 years old, it was Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. When I was 11, it was Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, without a doubt. And when I was 14 years old, it was Demian by Hermann Hesse.
Donna Koppelman, an author and educator in North Carolina, cites On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne.
For Rajiv Mohabir, a former teacher, poet and author of The Taxidermist’s Cut, the most influential book was The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. It’s “an Arthurian legend attuned to the magic all around,” he said. “It was one of the strategies I used for growing up in the South as a queer brown person.”
Jacqueline Woodson, young adult author and young people’s poet laureate:
“Stevie by John Steptoe. Not only were brown-skinned people on the cover, but [Steptoe] is speaking in a dialect. … The core of it was a mirror. It was the first time I saw people who looked like me and talked like me on the page. It provided a lifetime of learning that continues.”
As a kid I loved history, biography, fantasy and adventure. There weren’t many books about people like me, but that was OK. People like me were boring. I’d rather read Treasure Island.
C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books had the most influence on me, especially The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I learned that anything can be a portal to a magic world.