Follow by Email

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Horn Book arrived yesterday. I can hardly to open it every two months! The first thing I do is flip to Roger's editorial to see what he is thinking. In this issue, he encourages librarians to get the books mentioned in "Horn Book Fanfare" for 2011 into readers' hands and hearts. My teaching partner and I love doing that; half the books on this year's list are already circulating. The next thing I do is page through the articles to see which I want to read first. This time Richard Peck's "Books to Unite the Digitally Divided Family" topped the list. Though it did not live up to its title, it contained excellent lines that are now in my favorite quotes journal. How about this one about writers?
"We write from observation, not experience. From research, not recollection. All fiction is based on research. We don't write what we know. We write what we can find out. Every book begins in the library in the hope that it will end there."
And lastly, I turn to the Book Reviews, noting what we already have in the collection, what we have on order, and what we want to preview from the public library. My reserve list grew by 12 books tonight.


  1. I admire Richard Peck, but I'm not sure I entirely agree w/the quote. I think we write from *both* observation and experience, and from *both* research and recollection. It is the experience and recollection resonating w/observation and research that gives depth to what we write.

  2. I agree with Sharon. In good writing, observation has been tempered with the emotion of experience, and research blended with the immediacy of recollection. I can't write convincingly unless whatever I'm writing about somehow resonates with my own world.

  3. I've thought about Richard Peck's quote several time since you posted this, Julie, and like Sharon and Joyce, I don't agree - at least not for me. So much of my own writing is based on recollection, remembrance, emotion, and pure imagination. Yes, even my fictional stories often require research, but they are often based on personal experiences or thoughts that aren't found in the wonderful world of library books.

  4. We should pass these on to Mr. Peck. Isn't observation also experience?