Please, Encourage Kids to Write!


  • Robert Desmarais



Dear Readers,

I recently browsed through numerous web pages for kids on and much to my delight I came across an article titled “5 Books You Probably Didn’t Know Were Written by Kids.” I discovered that Alec Greven published a successful book called How to Talk to Girls when he was only nine years old. The book was published back in 2008, so Graven would be close to twenty today, but the lessons on the back cover remain relevant for today: “Comb your hair and don’t wear sweats / Control your hyperness (cut down on the sugar if you have to) / Don’t act desperate.” Graven was interviewed on several popular television shows soon after the book was published, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Today show, and Good Morning America, among others, and his publication became a media sensation.

Graven’s accomplishment is certainly very impressive, but I was even more astounded to read about a four-year-old named Dorothy Straight, who, according to CBC, “holds the world record for being the youngest published author.” Her book titled Who Made the World? was published in 1964 and it included her own illustrations to depict her ideas about the possibility of Creation. These extraordinary stories of kids who write and publish books make inspiring reading, which is why I mention them here in my editorial, with the hope that you will encourage the children in your life to write, not necessarily for publication, but to help them read and understand stories written by other writers. There are lots of resources available to encourage children to write, including apps, websites, writers’ groups, blogs, magazines, books, and courses, so please consider doing an online search for writing materials or visit your local library to ask for help finding free writing resources for kids.

Happy reading!

Robert Desmarais, Managing Editor



How to Cite

Desmarais, R. (2018). Please, Encourage Kids to Write!. The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature, 8(2).