Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Walter Mosley, Omar Tyree….when thinking of these writers and their works, they are well known for writing about mature subjects. Novels such as, The Color Purple and Beloved, come to mind—and certainly are marketed to adult audiences. Therefore, one would assume that Morrison, Walker, and the others write literature specifically for adults, but that is not the case. Those authors and many others have also written for children and young adults.
Much like their adult books, some of the children’s books have profound themes. The Big Box, Morrison’s children’s book co-authored with her son Slade, is a dark tale about three kids confined to a box. It cautions against substituting material things for love. War is the subject of Alice Walker’s Why War Is Never a Good Idea.
These writers’ literary voices extend to all ages, although it is debatable whether children should be exposed to mature themes. Some of the adult authors listed recognize that children and young adults can not only deal with complex themes, it’s necessary because it helps them understand the world. However, many of the children’s books listed are fun reads that deal with family, friendship, and growing up.