Not all the books I read as a child had a happy ending. They were written in different times and countries, reflecting the reality of the Old World and the culture of the countries they were from. Sometimes the stories were too cruel and sad for my tender years, making me sob in the closet. I disliked it when my favorite hero or heroine died or didn’t turn out the way I had expected. After I stopped sobbing, I sat in my hiding spot and thought about what went wrong with my heroes. Why had they made mistakes that caused them to be killed? Why didn’t the prince kill the dragon or marry his princess? Why did the wolf eat the cute goat, which was so kind and happy?
Times and books have changed dramatically since I was a child. Books with unhappy endings are no longer popular. Now critics and most readers favor books with happy endings. They think that this type of book is good and right for children. And they are, but these books are not the only books that show good examples and teach useful lessons. Today children’s books are heavily illustrated and the words have shrunk almost to nothing. Are we robbing our children of their imagination? Why are we afraid to write books close to reality? God forbid that the story should make a child upset or cry.