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The 1990s PBS Show 'Ghostwriter' Taught Kids to Love Words

Stashed in: Language, Parenting, 1990s, 1990s

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I never saw it but it sounds like a great show.

Children’s game shows like Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? or instructional shows like Bill Nye the Science Guy never kept my interest—I wanted stories. Fortunately, Ghostwriter distinguished itself a series focused on full narratives. Each storyline would stretch across several half-hour episodes, requiring commitment and focus from its young audience the way a novel might. But we were rewarded with deeper characters and more intrigue than the average show for preteens. With casebooks in hand, our viewing experience was far from passive, and sometimes extended out of our living rooms to the actual classroom: Around 20 million copies of the companion Ghostwriter magazine were sent to schools around the country, and activity booklets gave students the chance to re-write characters and storylines—an early introduction to fan-fiction.

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