An 8-year-old manic writer in Seattle, US, Adora Svitak, has emerged as the focus of an international campaign whose like has no precedent, to promote child authorship. It all looks very slickly managed in the typical style of US business PR.
That will be fine as long as it shows responsiveness to ordinary personal justice. That is now being sought:
Here is a copy of a message sent on Feb 23 through the www.adorasvitak.com website’s [now disappeared] interactive page. (Under “Ask Adora” then “Schools & Libraries”.) Also copied to Charles Faulkner, of Aultbea Publishing who published Libby Rees, and Viv Bird, director of Reading Is Fundamental a literacy trust in the US. Both had spoken in the Observer Feb 19 in support of an imminently projected British tour by Adora Svitak. Both carry the same responsibility as her own publicity machine does, to be moral, which means: to make this
great opening for forcing mass public awareness of the
rather than to be just something “professional” and remote.
The move made towards them was conciliatory and it was put on this site assuming the best about them. Now that there is nothing obtained from them over a significant time, they must begin to be considered disturbing.
I find it extraordinary that you actually have a section inviting schools to seek advice on encouraging child authorship.
A whole stolen generation of child authors have had the rest of our lives deeply wounded and abused, by schools. By homework pressure destroying our chance to be child authors. Not leaving us enough spare time to finish books.
As soon as any parties publicising a child author know about this obscene crime, it becomes a CITABLE AUTOMATIC duty to child protection for you to publicise the fact that wronged child authors exist. You just have to mention it alongside your publicising of your luckier child author. It becomes an act of cruelty to other children not to do that.
The stolen generation period is 1978-2001. My luck that it was exactly the last child author to emerge before the stolen generation, Lindsay Brown, who inspired me to be one. Because the gifted children movement got a local newspaper fuss made of me for other reasons and my child authorship mentioned along with it while the book was still incomplete, in 1980, before abuse at school ruined its completion, I am historical evidence of the stolen generation. I can serve on behalf of recognition rights for them all. Have you thought of the ones whose countries just weren’t democracies when they were children: I can be the stepping stone for their recognition too.
I have Asperger Syndrome, which is associated with a mind focused towards writing: thus Luke Jackson and Kenneth Hall. [Links to the Phad article and the Scottish parliament autism Cross-Party Group minutes for 27 Nov 2003 and 2 Feb 2005.]
Do you have any contacts in Britain who would like to support my placard protest, on March 8, 6:45 pm, outside the Strathclyde Hilton Hotel at Bellshill near Glasgow, while Luke Jackson’s mother Jacqui is speaking inside? The protest is not against her, it does not prejudge her at all, it is against the organisers of her speaking tours (Centre For Development of Autism Practice) ignoring this issue. Wronged child authors should be mentioned by the Jackson family every time.
Not being in America, I have discovered you from a blog comment made in response to the recent case of Libby Rees here. It seems obvious that since 2001, and thanks at first to writings about health conditions, there has been a massive breakthrough for the idea of child authorship and it has suddenly become fashionable to an intensity never known before. This after hardly existing at all for over 20 years. I seek your concerned action on speaking out about wronged child authors and giving our fight for recognition a loud place in this bandwagon.
Maurice Frank (address)
23 Feb 2006