One of our local primary schools has a display outside their library of posters showing classic children's books. The librarian asked various teachers, including the principal, which books they remembered reading as a child. Beside each poster is a picture of the teacher with their nominated book. It set me thinking about how much children's literature has changed, especially in recent years. I read articles on how to structure stories for today's children, with many saying that modern gadgets and tech devices should be included in the story line as things that today's children are familiar with. That's certainly the case, and I have made the effort to do just that with my own middle-grade writing. I have also re-read some classic children's novels in the same genre recently, and while some of the concepts and language may be dated, one thing stands out. What doesn't change is is the fact that a story needs to be engaging, especially from the outset. There are many articles about having the right hook, creating a great story with a beginning, middle and end, and believable characters. All these elements engender engagement, and an enthusiasm to keep reading, to want to turn to the next page. A fantastic story line is timeless, and our kid's imaginations need to be fired up, empathy created, and the ability to place themselves into the story. These books then become the classics of the future, and hopefully today's young readers will nominate their favourite books in years to come, as a special memory from their childhood. I try to take on board suggestions from the children with whom I come into contact, to make sure I'm reaching the target audience. A number of young people have told recently that they have enjoyed my first novel so much, that they can't wait for the next one. I'd like to think they might become treasured memories on day, as I'm sure many of my author friends do as well. The classics never die: sometimes they are simply re-invented, but they are still the same essential story. Keep writing with the aim of creating enduring engagement.