Talking About Stephen King with Kids at Pomonok Library

So, it’s always hilarious when you’re giving an author talk at a library and kids immediately say, “Oh, uh, I got homework to do” and run out of the room. DON’T MAKE ME TALK TO THE SCARY AUTHOR!

But just when it looked like it was going to be me and the librarian talking about The Sopranos, kids began to drift back into the room until nearly all the seats were filled. Most of them were boys in the fifth grade, and I did initially suspect they were threatened with loss of computer privileges if they didn’t give the visiting author a try. But before I’d even gotten started on my “talk,” hands were in the air, the kids were firing questions about writing, publishing, and books they loved. No question—there were future writers, critics, and agents in that group. A third grader gave me a full rundown on James and The Giant Peach. We talked about Stephen King’s decision to pull Rage off the shelves, if reading violent material makes you more likely to commit violent acts. Lots of opinions on that one, and on both sides. The kids came up with amazing What if questions. The best was, What if a camel was eating your kid? Would you take a picture of it and then kill the camel or would you just kill the camel? One kid thought it was entirely possible to get a good picture, then dispatch the camel. I said, Okay, but now tell me how you feel if you’re the kid.

Guys, I really hope you start that blog. I cannot wait to read it. Thanks for a great afternoon.

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3 thoughts on “Talking About Stephen King with Kids at Pomonok Library

  1. Betsy Guthrie says:

    What do you think about ‘After the First Death’ and some of Robert Cormier’s works? Suitable or not?

    • I remember reading The Chocolate War and feeling so grateful that someone had acknowledged the darkness of high school and the capacity for cruelty kids can have. So in an odd way, I found it very comforting. I haven’t read After the First Death, but we process what we read differently than we process visual images. I think books are a great way to be introduced to harsh and scary subjects. Having said that, I really respect King’s decision to ponder the impact of his work and to say, “If I can do something that might diminish the appeal this act clearly has for young men in our country, I’ll do it.” I thought it was very gutsy and provocative.

      • ashley says:

        hi stephen i heard about your axadent with the van i feel bad that happend. but i do love you movie maxumumoverdrive.

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