Writers of children’s books are often asked: “When are you going to write a book for adults?” This is a question that almost always causes consternation on the part of the writer, the subtext being that children’s books are somehow lesser creations and offer little in the way of big ideas or insight into the human condition. Readers of children’s books, however, know the folly of such a question. Books for children contain much wisdom, the kind that those who ask the above question would do well to ponder. Here below are just a few such passages. There are so many more, and I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments section.
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” – J.K. Rowling
HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS
“It’s our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J.K. Rowling
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” Neil Gaiman
LIAR & SPY
“Boredom is what happens to people who have no control over their minds.” – Rebecca Stead
THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT
“It is important that you say what you mean to say. Time is too short. You must speak the words that matter.” – Kate DiCamillo
THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW
“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.” – C.S. Lewis
THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH
“You must never feel badly about making mistakes, explained Reason quietly, as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons.” – Norton Juster
THE BATTLE OF THE LABYRINTH
“But remember, boy, that a kind act can sometimes be as powerful as a sword.” – Rick Riordan
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery
“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” – E.B. White
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl
WHEN MY NAME WAS KEOKO
“A mistake made with good in your heart is still a mistake, but it is one for which you must forgive yourself.” – Linda Sue Park
Thank you for this–you already included my beloved PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH quote.
Thanks for commenting! That’s a great one, isn’t it?