31 October 1932
Huai’an, Jiangsu, China
|Genre||Children’s and young-adult novels|
The Master Puppeteer
|Notable awards||National Book Award
Hans Christian Andersen Award
Astrid Lindgren Award
Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal
If you're so afraid of your imagination that you stifle it, how are you going to know God? How can you imagine heaven?
Children have to have access to books, and a lot of children can't go to a store and buy a book. We need not only our public libraries to be funded properly and staffed properly, but our school libraries. Many children can't get to a public library, and the only library they have is a school library.
I'd like for the young people, and older ones, too, who don't count themselves as readers, to know the joy of reading and what it does to enrich your life in so many ways.
The problem with people who are afraid of imagination, of fantasy, is that their world becomes so narrow that I don't see how they can imagine beyond what their senses can verify. We know from science that there are entire worlds that our senses can't verify.
If you're a kid who is always on the outside hoping to be on the inside, you're watching a lot. You're trying to figure out how to become a normal person in a society that considers you weird.
I know a movie and a book are two different things and you are going do different media in different ways. No author can want a movie to be exactly like the book because then it will be a bad movie.
I like to write about a lot of things, which is why my books are different. This is probably why I don't like to write sequels, but chiefly I like to write about people.
A story is open-ended. A story invites you into it to make your own meaning.
It's such a thrill when an adult comes up to me and says, 'I read your book as a child and really loved it.' That's a tremendous compliment.
Obviously, I love to do both contemporary and historical fiction. When a hint of a story grabs me, I try to go with it to see where it will take me whatever the setting.
I love writing for young adults because they are such a wonderful audience, they are good readers, and they care about the books they read.
I can't believe there will ever be a time when the book is truly obsolete. It is the perfect technology and feeds the soul.
I'm a great believer in research. I have to know about a place before I write a story that is set in that place.
Death is very mysterious to us. One moment someone is there with us, and the next moment they're not.
The best thing about being a writer is it gives you readers who understand your deepest feelings and fears.
We do have trouble dealing with death, but it's the one thing that is guaranteed we are all going to have to do, and we are going to have to face it many times before we die ourselves.
I think if a book has the power to move a reader, it also has the power to offend a reader. And you want your books to have power, so you just have to take what comes with that.
Reading asks that you bring your whole life experience and your ability to decode the written word and your creative imagination to the page and be a co-author with the writer, because the story is just squiggles on the page unless you have a reader.
I love to read. But I loved to read a lot longer than I started to love writing.
I guess real maturity, which most of us never achieve, is when you realize that you're not the center of the universe.
All of us use art and literature as an escape from time to time, but if it's any good, it has a healing quality – a quality that enlarges our human spirits.
It is always sad to write about prejudice, but sometimes when we see it being played out in the lives of fictional characters, we can recognize it in our own lives.
Some say it is the elements of hope and wonder in children's books that make them special. But there are many dark young adult novels these days. Adults loved Harry Potter, though it was written for the young. In the end, it is probably up to the reader of any age to decide if this book is for him or her.
Kids often ask me if characters are real or made up – and I always tell them, 'I hope they're real but I made them up.'