Adirondack Kids® Blogs

How Being a Foster Family Influenced Our Writing

Throughout the nearly 20 years we have been writing our stories for children we have noted the consistent call from many who are influential in the publishing industry for books dealing with tough subjects and with characters to which kids going through various serious difficulties can relate.

Our approach to storytelling from the very beginning has been to write wholesome and plausible adventures in which kids are allowed to be kids. Our characters are kids with whom other kids can imagine being their friends. And when the world we write about is not the reality of life experienced by some, it reflects the way life is for many and for those who may be attracted by it, the way it could be.

A major influence shaping our thinking was serving for more than a decade as therapeutic foster parents.

The horrific things experienced by many of the children who we had the privilege of caring for are unspeakable. The last thing they needed was reliving stories through characters they could ‘relate to’. They needed no reminders of the trauma experienced and were plenty familiar with the pain. All that one little girl who was with us longed to be was a princess.

I will never forget when one of our foster children began to come home from school showing abnormal signs of increased agitation. We pursued it and learned a well-intentioned teacher was sharing a book with the class on a tough subject. A subject that addressed not only what our foster child had been through, but as it turned out, another in the class as well. We were informed the other child had disappeared from class one of those days and was found in an empty classroom in the dark curled up in a fetal position.

While we are sure there are powerful anecdotes of how tough subjects in stories for young children have helped them, that is not our niche.

It could be that because I was born in the mid-1950’s and grew up consuming the works of Beverly Cleary and others like her, and shared many of those same books with Justin, that we have also avoided the use of poor speech and vulgar behavior in the attempt to keep young readers engaged. We will leave those inventions to other authors as well.

Our work is rather a hybrid of the plot-driven and action-packed Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew; with more of the wholesomeness and innocent fun and curiosity of Henry Huggins and Ramona. It happens to be a formula that has proven quite successful for decades from the best of the Dime Novels to many of the Series Books of both yesterday and today.

We are well aware we are no competition to those who may aspire to win a prestigious Newbery Award. But we are also aware that somehow The Adirondack Kids® has been winning the hearts of multiple thousands of young readers and their parents for nearly two decades now, and for that we are truly humbled and thankful.

 

Upcoming Appearances

Friday, November 23, 2018

1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Strand Theater

210 Main Street

Hudson Falls, NY 12839

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Saturday & Sunday December 1 & 2

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New York Mills PTSO Annual Craft Fair

1 Marauder Blvd.

New York Mills, NY

https://www.facebook.com/newyorkmillsptsoannualcraftfair/

 

 

 

 

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