Children's literature is literature written for and/or marketed towards a primarily juvenile audience. While some books are authored for a youthful audience, others become associated with children through marketing or tradition. Still others are "crossover" books, read by children and adults alike. Literature addressed directly to children arose in Western Europe in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, becoming a very profitable industry in the 19th century. It includes picture books, fairy tales, animal stories, school stories, science fiction, fantasy, series fiction, chapter books, children's poetry, and other genres. Throughout its 300-year history, children's stories have reflected the values of the societies that produced them.
Ender's Game (1985) is a science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled humankind who have barely survived two conflicts with the Formics (an insectoid alien race also known as the "Buggers"). In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, an international fleet maintains a school to find and train future fleet commanders. The world's most talented children, including the novel's protagonist, Ender Wiggin, are taken at a very young age to a training center known as the Battle School. There, teachers train them in the arts of war through increasingly difficult games where Ender's tactical genius is revealed. Reception to the book was generally positive, though some critics have denounced Card's perceived justification of his main character's violent actions. Ender's Game won the 1985 Nebula Award for best novel. Its sequels, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind, and Ender in Exile, follow Ender's subsequent travels to many different worlds in the galaxy.
PJ Haarsma is a Canadian born science fiction author best known for his creation of the Rings of Orbisuniverse, which encompasses The Softwire series of books. Haarsma created a free, online role-playing game, also called the Rings of Orbis, set in the same universe. Both the book-series and the game target young, often reluctant readers in an attempt to encourage them by rewarding them for reading. Haarsma also developed a school presentation program in which he discusses The Softwire books, astronomy, and other science fiction and science fact topics. He is also one of the co-founders of The Kids Need to Read Foundation, a United States Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity that purchases books to donate to underfunded schools and libraries.
Trees are all different, as you know, and I am sure some tiresome person must have told you that there are no two blades of grass exactly alike. But in the streets, where the blades of grass don't grow, everything is like everything else. This is why children who live in towns are so extremely naughty. They do not know what is the matter with them, and no more do their fathers and mothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, tutors, governesses, and nurses; but I know. And so do you now. Children in the country are naughty sometimes, too, but that is for quite different reasons.