Sterling North’s Rascal
Comments and recommendations for books for reading to children, particularly books on the bible, history and good fiction
In posts at this site I encourage the reading of good fiction, and, of course, one of my purposes in providing reviews is to help point people to good fiction.Reading has many benefits, and I was quite interested in this video which was pointed out to me by one of our favorite authors, Douglas Bond.
N. D. Wilson has a really good, brief article in the latest issue of Christianity Today on the place of evil and pain in children's stories. It is well worth reading and will be helpful as you consider books for your children.
"Childhood is the time for truth, and adulthood is the time for a deeper understanding of the same. To seed courage, we must show fear. To reveal triumph, we must build enemies. To tell the truth about what it means to be heroic, we must spin a fiction full of danger."Wilson appropriately notes that the issue is dosage. Children don't need to face the full onslaught of human depravity but good stories prepare them for encountering evil and overcoming. I encourage you to read the full article.
Here is C. S. Lewis dealing, parenthetically, with an issue which parents often ask about. I think he is exactly right.
“The question whether the disputed pencil belongs to Tommy or Charles is quite distinct from the question which is the nicer little boy, and the parents who allowed the one to influence their decision about the other would be very unfair. (It would be still worse if they said Tommy ought to let Charles have the pencil whether it belonged to him or not, because this would show he had a nice disposition. That may be true, but it is an untimely truth. An exhortation to charity should not come as rider to a refusal of justice. It is likely to give Tommy a lifelong conviction that charity is a sanctimonious dodge for condoning theft and whitewashing favouritism.)”
- C. S. Lewis, Reflectionson the Psalms (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1958), 17-18.