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02/16/2007 Archived Entry: "Children's books and liberty"

GOT A SON, DAUGHTER, NEICE, NEPHEW, grandchild, neighbor, godchild -- or anybody else who's roughly between the ages of 9-14? Thunder has just added a large selection of books for the curious-minded kid in the Wolfesblog Amazon.com aStore. Just click on "Books" in the right-hand box, then click "Childrens."

Our selection now includes the explicitly free-market anarchist "Princess Navina" series, several new titles by Lois Lowry (in addition to her super-fine freedom story The Giver, beloved of adults and teenagers alike), and Ken Schooland's Adventures of Jonathan Gullible in both English and Spanish.

Of special note (and thank you Dana and Katherine for the heads-up) is the "Shadow Children" cycle -- a series of seven books that take place in a near future in which the government has decreed that couples can have no more than two children. "Illegal children" and those who dare to bear them or protect them are subject to a swift, merciless death penalty.

The stories are told from the perspective of adolescent Luke Garner and other "illegal third children" who've spent their lives in hiding and are now struggling to become free.

These books are "dark" -- about as dark as The Giver or RebelFire (which of course you'll also find in the aStore). But not too dark for an intelligent older child. Some elements might not seem realistic to adults (in such an ID-ridden society, where are the biometrics, and why are the ID cards so basic?). But to a 14-year-old, this should be a whale of a tale. Get 'em one title at a time or in a boxed set. The aStore has both, thanks to Thunder.

I've just finished book four, myself. Despite some moments when suspension of disbelief has failed, I'm enjoying them. And I have never, ever, seen books directed at teens that are so blatantly contempful of government. In the pen of author Margaret Peterson Haddix, the very word "government" becomes an epithet. Government agents are shown as ruthless killers, torturers -- people who live within a web of privileges and lies. The U.S. government, and not just the loathed and feared Population Police, is the enemy of the Shadow Children -- and of freedom.

Hey, I think the woman's onto something ...

Posted by Claire @ 01:28 PM CST

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