Janie B. Cheaney

Janie is a senior writer who contributes commentary to WORLD and oversees WORLD's annual Children's Book of the Year awards. She also writes novels for young adults and authored the Wordsmith creative writing curriculum. Janie resides in rural Missouri.

Truth be told

| Why are people prone to tell instinctive-obvious-lies?
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 9/03/05, 12:00 am

Is it my imagination, or has there been an increase in the public use of the word lie and its variations? The Wilson-Plame-Rove affair blazes with these incendiary terms, which only obscure the issue. To render the facts as objectively as possible, it appears that Ambassador Wilson told conflicting versions of his story, yet still insists that all prevarications are on the other side. But tracking down the details of that labyrinthine case is beside my point. I'm wondering why, in an age when truth is supposed to be relative, the charge of "liar!" is made with mounting indignation.

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Star-spangled symbol

| Outlawing flag desecration would turn an icon into an idol
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 7/30/05, 12:00 am

It's not surprising that a constitutional amendment against desecrating the U.S. flag is gaining traction. Americans fly the stars and stripes not merely from government buildings and schools, but also from private homes and businesses. Flags bloom in primary-colored fervor on holidays and in times of crisis or celebration, blazing like a Childe Hassam painting.

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All alone in the world?

| "Edgy" children's fiction is popular with adults, but kids know better
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 7/02/05, 12:00 am

All children's books are about growing up-that's the underlying theme, no matter the genre, length, or reading level. Since most of them are written by adults who have already grown up, the author-as-teacher role is tough to shirk. Even the goofiest or most formulaic fiction for young people contains some nugget of practical wisdom the kids can take away (possible exception: Captain Underpants).

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