This was an interesting piece in the Times yesterday. In it, award-winning author Maile Meloy muses on her experience of writing for children without having had any.
I plan to discuss this question with the Young Critics at our next meeting in September. Past Young Critics groups have already discussed why authors often get rid of parents in their stories, but this is another issue. "Write what you know" is probably the most common advice given writers. But does "knowledge" of kids need to include having some of your own, or is having been one enough? We've all done that!
Side question: If you only write what you know, how do we get fantasy, science fiction, or even historical fiction?
What do you think? If you're in 4-6 grade and wonder about this stuff, too, join us once a month on Thursday nights for Young Critics. The first month, we'll be discussing whatever you're read recently. (If you've haven't read Meloy's The Apothecary yet, try it--it's terrific!)