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QUESTION:

My upcoming project on an author of our choice needs us to go deep into that author. My teacher told us we should know their favorite color by the time we're done. I have chosen one of my favorite writers, OSC, but I'm having troule with this one idea. I have noticed in many books, especially yours, that a main character of a young child who is wiser than those around him is very common. This is in the Ender Saga, of course, and in Sarah, Lost Boys, the Homecoming series...the list could go on. I've also noticed this in The Giver (Lowry), From the Corner of His Eye (Koontz) The Dark is Rising Sequence (Cooper) and other books, which all seen to effectively draw one into the character. Why do you think that a child's loss of innocence and premature maturing has such an effect on the reader, and why do you and other authors of great books keep going back to this common theme, which nevertheless is fresh and new in each situation though the idea is the same?

-- Submitted Anonymously

OSC REPLIES: - September 25, 2001

Many authors keep coming back to this theme because it is one of the most important human universals -- we all pass through the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, and for most of us, that adulthood business comes as a rude shock. But it is also the key to civilization -- the ability of people to live together in enduring communities that pass their knowledge from one generation to the next depends on the majority of people taking on adult responsibilities long before they're "ready" for them (since, of course, we never are).

As for my favorite color, I don't have one and find the whole idea of a "favorite" color absurd. I always have.

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