Tagging onto our discussion of Big Words on Monday, this happened yesterday …
Mighty Mite (7yo): “What four words do you think describe me?”
Me: “Um…short, jumpy, fun, and cute?”
Mighty Mite: “Unbelievable, Boundless, Exciting, and Radical.” (reading from the YMCA camp brochure)
This little exchange is also a case study in Point of View. What we see as adults (children are short) is not at all what they perceive (I. AM. BOUNDLESS.). This unrestrained, unlimited view of the world is one of the things I love about kidlit, and why I write it. Everything is new. Anything is possible. The jadedness of the world has yet to set in. The most dire things can happen, and yet there is a thorough expectation that good will triumph over evil.
I think this essential character of youth – that the world is filled with endless possibilities – is a key part of getting the middle grade Voice down. More than a “smaller word” vocabulary or childish way of speaking. It is this Viewpoint – a fresh vantage point, gazing up at a boundless universe – that determines a child’s Point of View.
p.s. the reading level of this blog post (as well as Mighty Mite’s words) is 6.5 (sixth grade, fifth month). He’s in second grade. Even if those words had to be read to him (as opposed to reading them himself), there’s great value in having them a part of his world.
p.p.s. Awesome regular commenter Darby Karchut is my 300th follower! Which makes me think we need a follower contest to celebrate … I shall ponder that over the weekend. Have a great one!