Oh, I agree about that, Leslee. My parents did the same thing for me. When I was in sixth grade, I decided to create my own newspaper called The Silly Times. I wrote up little stories about events at school, jokes, word games, that sort of thing, and my parents printed it up on our mimeograph machine at their business. My mother worked with me to correct the spelling errors and punctuation. But, not once, did anyone say to me, "You are a published author, just like [insert favorite author's name here].

I knew this was a "project." I wasn't out there trying to compete with adults who had years of experience and knowledge, nor did I expect that I should be able to do that. We didn't "pay" anyone to make this look like a real newspaper either.

That's what really disturbs me about this story. Parents pay a boatload of money so their children will feel like they're real published authors. But the truth is, no one is investing any time in teaching them how to write a good book. The kids I've encountered who do this sort of thing all assume that they're gifted. Their "talent" and brilliance is all they need--because Mom and Dad told them so.

Just my thoughts...