I’d rather be the storyteller who says every kid can have a chance to star
I came across this picture of a this pretty happy looking child near the upcoming “Home” 2015 animation movie poster. This put a smile on my face, but better yet it was a reminder of how important it is for us all to see images of our likeness in the media, and create a society where our younger ones feel represented. This quote by Paolo Bacigalupi sums up these thoughts pretty accurately.
“The more I write stories for young people, and the more young readers I meet, the more I’m struck by how much kids long to see themselves in stories. To see their identities and perspectives—their avatars—on the page. Not as issues to be addressed or as icons for social commentary, but simply as people who get to do cool things in amazing worlds. Yes, all the “issue” books are great and have a place in literature, but it’s a different and wildly joyous gift to find yourself on the pages of an entertainment, experiencing the thrills and chills of a world more adventurous than our own.
And when you see that as a writer, you quickly realize that you don’t want to be the jerk who says to a young reader, “Sorry, kid. You don’t get to exist in story; you’re too different.” You don’t want to be part of our present dystopia that tells kids that if they just stopped being who they are they could have a story written about them, too. That’s the role of the bad guy in the dystopian stories, right? Given a choice, .”
– Paolo Bacigalupi