Fabulous Fineas writes . . .
Dear James Preller,
I love your books!!! I am 8 years old. I have pretty much read all your jigsaw jones books! My teacher always says I am getting up there! she says i am getting too old for your books because they are too short. Please write bigger books. Write more mysteries!
From your fan, Fineas
Thanks, Fin! Is it okay to call you Fin? Or Finn?
Good news: I have been writing longer books. I’d say the next step beyond Jigsaw in terms of length and difficulty would be: Along Came Spider, Justin Fisher Declares War, Six Innings, then Bystander.
But you are right, I should write another mystery. I’ve been meaning to get around to it again, at an older level, but I guess after 40 Jigsaw Jones books, I needed a break from that type of book. I’d like to write one that’s more complicated and perhaps even dangerous, more along the lines of a thriller. But right now, today, I’ve got nothing. Zippo.
Rough cover sketch by R.W. Alley. Click here to learn
more about his creative process!
You know, I have to confess that I hear this kind of thing a lot — kids being encouraged to move beyond “easy” books. And worse, that their current choices are somehow unworthy, certainly frowned upon, and I suspect that disapproval sometimes spills over to the reader himself. I think many boys who loved reading comic books, for example, heard the same complaint all through childhood. It’s an unfortunate message, especially in a world where so many boys are not reading for pleasure at all.
So this is what I think, Fin. Your teacher is right to gently encourage you to continue to grow as a reader, to challenge yourself with new books. There are so many great books out there, just waiting for you. But at the same time, as a reader, I often like short books. And I like . . . what I like. The most important thing is that YOU ARE READING BOOKS, any books, even mine. Just keep that up — keep on reading, at least a little bit every day — and you’ll do fine. No worries.
Thanks again for the nice note!
P.S. I recently made a video in response to a reader who had a similar issue at school. You can check it out below!