Why Children’s Books Matter

This is me and a friend with K. A. Applegate, author of the Animorphs series. Animorphs, Harry Potter, the Julie of the Wolves books, and Harriet the Spy are what made me want to be a writer. So, when K. A. Applegate was scheduled to appear at my local bookstore, my friend and I knew we had to go. What struck me most about actually meeting one of my favorite authors from childhood in the flesh was how she was so encouraging of the kids who liked writing or wanted to be writers and so excited to see her older readers, saying Animorphs fans grew up to be the coolest people. When K. A. Applegate was asking a little girl if she was a writer and encouraging her to be one, I couldn’t help but think how much that would have meant to me as a kid.

K. A. Applegate and J. K. Rowling were my heroes. They filled my shelf and shaped my budding view of the world. Honestly, I still get confused when people say women can’t write sci-fi or military science fiction because K. A. Applegate was the first sci-fi writer I knew. Sure, my first memories are of either the children’s room at my church or my parents watching Star Trek (which explains more about me than you know) and I loved Star Wars, but the first sci-fi books that I really engaged with and enjoyed were the Animorphs books. Continue reading