197: Harry Potter, Netflix, and Christian Media with Author and Screenwriter, N.D. Wilson
N. D. Wilson has authored numerous middle grade fiction books, as well as non-fiction, including "Leepike Ridge” (a children’s adventure story) and “100 Cupboards” series. He has written and been the executive producer of a Netflix children’s series called “Hello Ninja.” There are four seasons and it is highly ranked on Netflix. He has a great podcast called “Stories are Soul Food.” It is one of Elisha’s favorite podcasts!
What is a middle grade novel? It is a sweet spot for 5th and 6th graders, as well as those heading into middle school. It is all of the intelligence, none of the hormones. N. D. wanted to write stories that had concrete endings, resolve/resolutions, the good guys won, and also be able to avoid content that he didn’t want to get into naturally and realistically. These stories mark the memories of kids and who they want to be in life, who brands them as they move forward. The last summer of your childhood is where a middle grade novel can hang out. You can have that happy ending in kid’s books. A big part of why he targets this demographic is because it’s a good moment of branding the imagination as kids become young adults moving forward with really great stories. If you love Narnia, The Hobbit, and stories that mark your imagination when you are 11, 12, 13, those stories stay with you in a really great permanent way.
N.D. said that “when it comes to content, what I want is not to protect my kids from things with which they disagree. I want to equip them to disagree. I want them to have clear eyes and a vision for what is good and bad, dangerous and healthy, and thinking how would I change it and what would I do? I want them to be in the driver seat of authority. I don’t want my kids ever to consume any story of any kind like a baby bird, where they have their head back and mouth wide open. I want all of it to be active, engaged, tearing things apart and finding the good and bad. When it comes to narrative, they need to be really perceptive and picky. Pickiness meaning it takes a lot to impress them. They should develop instincts for truth, goodness and beauty and pulling those things out.”
You can learn more and follow N. D. Wilson through the resources below:
Netflix show: "Hello Ninja"
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