On a related note, David Almond, author of SKELLIG and other famous books, recently wrote an article for The Telegraph (UK) called Children's Books Shouldn't Sit Still and Behave. To give you a taste:
"Children's literature...tells tales of rabbits and ducks, of vampires and zombies, of ordinary kids in ordinary homes, of love and death, and explores the most profound, joyful and troubling aspects of human experience."People wonder why I read children's books, not adult books. Personally I find a story much more interesting when a character is still forming in their own lives, when even they don't know how they will react because they have no behavioral patterns defined in their lives yet. The questions of good or bad, right or wrong are still on the table, waiting to be decided. It's the stage of formation and we get to join in for a while. What an awesome thing.
Update: I wrote this post before the school shooting and believe, in retrospect, Ms. Napoli's points are even more relevant when you consider the tragedy.