“You become a reader by reading the literature, not by reading the handbooks about it.” – Aidan Chambers
Born on this date in 1930, Chambers is a British author of children's and young-adult novels. He won both the British Carnegie Medal and the American Printz Award for his wonderful Postcards from No Man's Land (1999). And for his "lasting contribution to children's literature" he won the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2002.
First a teacher and an Anglican Priest, Chambers started putting down his stories – and several plays – to share with his students. In 1967, he left both teaching and the priesthood to concentrate on writing, lecturing, and editing.
Chambers gained a reputation for straightforward writing that treats his young readers with both respect and the understanding that they can comprehend the same difficult world and ideas that adults deal with. He has written several books for teachers and librarians on the topic, including The Reading Environment and Tell Me: Children, Reading and Talk. He also has been encouraging for young readers to become young writers and to treat their ideas as great starting points for sharing their thoughts and experiences.
“When you are in your teenage years you are consciously experiencing everything for the first time," he said. "So adolescent stories are all beginnings. There are never any endings.”
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