Although Stephen King didn’t write specifically for young readers, the same ethos propels his work and explains his devoted teenage audience. King novels turn unsettling truths about the darkness of human nature into literal monsters, then let adolescent protagonists defeat them, granting teens a power that they may not find in other aspects of their lives.
Every Friday in the Books Briefing, we thread together Atlantic stories on books that share similar ideas.
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Maurice Sendak scared children because he loved them
“His lush visual idiom managed to evoke the strange—and sometimes malign—intensity of real childhood, as fey, unruly protagonists sparred with adversaries (fanged monsters and imperfect parents). All his work demonstrates a strong desire, and uncanny ability, to capture the eerie vividness of youth