Maybe “hate” is too strong. I know so many terrific people — usually librarians and teachers — my peeps! — we’re talking the best people — who mean it as the highest compliment. Heck, my sister said it just the other day. She was trying to be nice. Who am I to complain?
Just the curmudgeon I’ve always been, I suppose. A prickly pear. Hey, you kids, get off the lawn!
But, come on, rock stars? Is that all you’ve got?
Children’s authors and illustrators are way cooler than rock stars.
Okay, most rock stars. Almost all of them, actually.
Patti Smith would be tough to top, granted, but I’m trying to make a point here.
I mean, who really cares about rock stars anymore? We’re more interested in chefs and Youtubers these days. Have you looked around at our world? Who are we talking about anyway? Jon Bon Jovi and his spray tan?
I admit there’s still enthusiasm among the masses for a certain sort of media-hyped “pop” star: Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, I suppose. Kendrick is cool. Rhianna, I like her.
So maybe that would be okay. I visit a school — there’s a pulse of anticipation in the building — and a kind librarian might smile and explain, “You’re like Beyonce to them.”
Oh yeah, I am. #iwokeuplikethis.
I suppose that wouldn’t be exactly true. Can’t quite match those Instagram views. Apples, oranges, old prunes.
Sidenote #1: My friend Susan is a pediatric oncological nurse. She works with kids who have cancer. It’s probably the hardest, most rewarding job I can imagine. My oldest child is a two-time cancer survivor. I tear up just thinking about those nurses. True fact! Today a friend commented that pediatric oncological nurses are like — you guessed it — rock stars! Oh, please. They are light years cooler and braver and and stronger and more loving than any rock star on the planet.
We need to stop giving rock stars so much credit.
Let’s come up with a better cliche.
We’re writers and artists who have dedicated our work to young readers. That’s what we do. Doesn’t make us heroes or worthy of putting up on a platform. Hopefully we do good work, inspire young minds, make a small difference in the world. Not really better than anybody else. Except, of course, lawyers, because they’re the worst.
We haven’t written “Louie, Louie” or “Satisfaction,” but we did come up with The Giver and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Ghost and Hello, Universe and Wonder and Coraline and The Tale of Desperaux and Go, Dog, Go and Wolf in the Snow and P.S. Be Eleven and Last Stop on Market Street and They All Saw a Cat and on and on and on.
Let’s see rock stars compete with that greatest hits package. Maybe someday in the future a band will get a standing ovation in Madison Square Garden. Just bring down the house. The place totally bananas. And somebody will rush up to say, intending the highest compliment, “You’re like Lois Lowry to them!”
My newest novel, Blood Mountain, is due out October 10th where fine books are sold. And, sure, it’s okay if you want to compare me to a rock star. I know what you mean. Thanks.