Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately


from my work journal (I’m a school librarian, remember?) Dec. 16

I’ve been reading the kids Demi’s new book, The Greatest Thing in the World, which is, according to Demi, life itself. Weapons are not the greatest thing. Beauty is not the greatest thing. Technology is not, money is not. In the book a little girl, observing the lotus plant, realizes that life itself is the greatest thing. I was afraid the kids would think I was being preachy. There is nothing they hate as much at that. Or that they would be bored. They love exciting stories and funny stories, but it seemed to me the right book for now, before Christmas. I was surprised to find class after class listening intently, even the bad boys, hanging on each word, and then, at the end of the story, bursting into applause.
We underestimate them. Children are naturally philosophical. And children, I think, if given the chance, move instinctively towards authenticity and beauty.
Thank you, Demi, for another beautiful and authentic book.

Categories: books, children, schools, Uncategorized


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