An opinion piece from The Huffington Post made me think about this. The author's point was that books for children shouldn't have a "Young Adult" designation.
Actually, her post isn't what got me thinking.
Scroll past the short post and read the comment by BlackJAC, who states that once you're old enough to vote/gamble/drink, you shouldn't even be reading young adult books.
There's a hidden (or not so hidden) implication that one's emotional growth must be stunted if one is reading children's books.
If you're not an educator/librarian/children's book author/parent, should you be reading children's books?
Personally, I read both children's and adult literature. When I bring our adult children to the library, they head to the adult section and I to the children's section.
When I research a topic, I always begin in the children's non-fiction section to get a solid overview of the topic before heading to the adult non-fiction section.
Yesterday, I got an e-mail from someone who said she enjoyed Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen and flew through its pages. The author of that e-mail is 31.
Why limit oneself? A great story is a great story.
I'm a richer person for having read Patricia McCormick's Sold. It gave me context for watching the documentary, Half the Sky, about abuse and oppression of females turned on its head by hope-filled, can-do people. Jerry Spinelli's Wringer, allowed me to see inside the cruelty of the annual Higgin's Pigeon Shoot, which used to take place near my home. And Patrick Ness's A Monster Calls allowed me to have a cathartic cry about my mom's death from cancer.
Children's literature contains a wealth of timeless/ageless themes -- surviving loss, cultivating individuality, creating compassion, responding to injustice, etc. It would be a great loss to dismiss the entire canon of children's literature because one "should outgrow it."
Has a children's book made an impact on your adult life? Is it okay to read children's books at any age? I'd love to know what you think.