The stories we share

Moral Judgements are not the Task of the Children’s Writer. (quotes, part 4)

“…I become uncomfortable when people ask me about the morals of my stories or the values I’m trying to impart. Moral judgement is not my prerogative. Of course, I’ll make moral judgements for myself, and as a parent I’ll try to teach my children what is right and good and what I see as evil and wrong. I’ll also do what I can to work for peace and justice, which I believe to be good and right, and to combat war and oppression, which I believe to be evil. But when it comes to passing moral judgement on other people, even my own children, I have to tread carefully. Moral judgement is the prerogative of the Creator, and if the Bible is to be believed, when the Creator makes a moral judgement it breaks his heart.
So when I write a story for children it’s not to make moral judgements, though the story may portray the observed human truth that behavior has consequences. I’m seeking to tell a story from my heart- my kokoro-with the hope that it will speak to another heart.

p 164-165, Katherine Paterson, “Heart in Hiding”, from The Art and Craft of Writing for Children


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