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Dreadful Lies/Peculiar Truths

With: Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Robert Lipsyte, and Vera B. Williams; moderated by Susan Kuklin

On September 19, 2007, the PEN Children’s Book/Young Adult Book Authors Committee hosted a panel discussion featuring authors Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Susan Kuklin, Robert Lipsyte, and Vera B. Williams. This panel of prize-winning authors explored quandaries in which many children’s book writers often find themselves: how do authors respect the boundaries and imaginations of young audiences when writing about harrowing topics? How does one portray difficult circumstances without foisting an adult point of view on our readers? Listen to this panel discussion of these topics and more.

Discussed: the moral responsibility to tell the truth; resources vs. didacticism; myths, folklore, and children’s lit; respecting your readers; bodies, nakedness, and full-frontal pictures; uttering society’s “no no nos”; silences and omissions; postmodern truth-telling; and daring to disturb the universe.

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