Today marks Day 10 of the Slice of Life challenge. Join me as I work to write every day in March – and beyond!
I was saddened to learn of the death of Norton Juster. Here’s my little tribute.
Dear Mr. Juster,
My name is Lainie. I’m a fan.
I first read “Phantom Tollbooth” when I was a fifth grader. Your book changed my world.
Mr. Juster, I had always been a reader growing up. I worked voraciously through Beverly Cleary, through Judy Blume, through Roald Dahl. And I’d always enjoyed reading, and I’d always imagined the worlds that authors brought me, and I always enjoyed the time I spent with the characters.
But Milo. And the adventures he had in the Lands Beyond.
Mr. Juster, you wrote a book that was CLEVER. And SMART. A book that spoke directly to me. A book that was written just for me. You never made any assumptions about me as a kid. You never shrugged your shoulders and dumbed things down because you were just writing a kids’ book. No, you put all of your wit and energy and wonder between those pages, and you did it in a way that refused to underestimate me, as so many of the adults in my life often did.
You wrote the book I needed. A book I deserved. And in return, I’ve given that book to countless other kids who need that book, kids who need to see cleverness and joy in print. I know they won’t get all the jokes. I know that some of the ideas will be over their heads. I just make my kids promise me they’ll read the book again when they’re grown-ups so they can go back for all the fun stuff they missed the first time.
Mr. Juster, you were the grown-up so many children need in their lives. For that, you will be sorely missed.
P.S. I also think your book “The Dot and the Line” was way underrated, and I hope people discover it. I just had to put that out into the world. I’m also posting this video of the story in case folks want to follow their curiosity.