From Isaac Bashevis Singer’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1978

Ladies and Gentlemen: There are five hundred
reasons why I began to write for children, but to
save time I will mention only ten of them. Number 1)
Children read books, not reviews. They don’t give a
hoot about the critics. Number 2) Children don’t read
to find their identity. Number 3) They don’t read to
free themselves of guilt, to quench the thirst for
rebellion, or to get rid of alienation. Number 4) They
have no use for psychology. Number 5) They detest
sociology. Number 6) They don’t try to understand
Kafka or Finnegans Wake. Number 7) They still
believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches,
goblins, logic, clarity, punctuation, and other such
obsolete stuff. Number 8) They love interesting
stories, not commentary, guides, or footnotes.
Number 9) When a book is boring, they yawn
openly, without any shame or fear of authority.
Number 10) They don’t expect their beloved writer to
redeem humanity. Young as they are, they know
that it is not in his power. Only the adults have such
childish illusions.

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