Families: A Writer Who's 13 At Heart

Sharon Creech deals with serious themes in a way that delights her young readers

Sharon Creech has long been exquisitely attuned to the comings and goings of the junior set. But when she returned to the U.S. in 1998, after 18 years in Europe, the children's author was caught flat-footed. The life of the American child, she discovered, had lurched into a higher gear during her absence. "There were all these frazzled parents who spent their lives in car pools, getting their kids to ballet lessons and gymnastics," recalls Creech. "And I was thinking, Goodness, don't the kids ever get time just to climb a tree or lie in the grass? There doesn't seem to...

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