Published in 1984. The more we know about young writers, the more we observe them as they write, discuss the composing process with them, talk to them about the sources of their ideas and the difficulties which they encounter as they try to captures thoughts and feelings in words, the greater will be our understanding of imaginative activity and the part it plays in children's personal and social development.
This is the essential theme of the book and the contributors stress the importance of sympathetic and sensitive guidance by teachers and parents in encouraging the imaginative process in young children. The personal diaries, stories and conversations with young writers which appear in this book illustrate how children can use imaginative writing as a means of coming to terms with social and emotional issues in their lives.
The book presents first a theoretical analysis of the imaginative writing process and then goes on to explore children's growing awareness of themselves and others through their perception of sex-roles, their way of dealing symbolically with illness and death, fear and separation, religious and spiritual experiences, and their understanding of social relationships with family and friends. The writing process itself is examined in detail and parallels drawn between the adult and child writer. The final part of the book presents children's own reflections on writing, shows one classroom community in action and discusses the extent to which children themselves can gain control of their own writing process.