In biographer Lisa Rogaks book A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein (Thomas Dunne Books), she reveals that Shel Silverstein, beloved author of kid classics like Where the Sidewalk Ends (Harper Collins) and The Giving Tree (Harper Collins), actually disliked children, and never even wanted to write for kids.
Rogak says, Shel was like Peter Pan, and he disliked kids because he liked to be the only kid in the room. He preferred to hang out with druggies, even though his drug of choice was espresso.
Despite his dislike for tykes, Silverstein, who lived at the Playboy Mansion and wrote the Johnny Cash tune A Boy Named Sue, was a hit with kids because of what Rogak calls his subversiveness.
She says, Kids loved Shel because he said the opposite of what parents told them. Parents hated his stuff, which made the kids love it even more.
A Boy Named Shel is on shelves now.
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