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Monday, February 20, 2012

When You Write for Children

“You have to write whichever book it is that wants to be written. And then, if it’s going to be too difficult for grownups, you write it for children.”
—Madeleine L’Engle

I've been thinking a bit about my favorite books. Most of them are old favorites which I read for the first time in elementary school. I always read at a higher grade level, so these aren't necessarily "grade school books." I'd classify them as Middle Grade, although some could probably cross over into a younger Young Adult market.

Why have these old favorites stayed with me for so long? I think it has to do with the nature of these books. Books written for younger audiences are often the ones that provoke the most thought and the deepest feelings. When you looks at today's mainstream YA, you see books full of teen angst and romance and rebellion. They've lost the easy innocence and deep truths that made younger books so important to me.

These are some of my favorite books, and some of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Are any of these your favorite, too?

Walk Two Moons

I've talked about this book before. Why do I love it? It's real. It's a story about love and loss and whenever I read it, it feels like I'm wrapping summer sunshine around my shoulders.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

It's about being different, and about discovering what's important. But that's the older me looking back. The 5th grade me who first read this loved the romance.

Bridge to Terabithia

I cry every single time I read this, even though I know what's going to happen.

A Ring of Endless Light

A slightly older take on loss and life and everything. The end is just so beautiful. Everyone remembers Madeleine L'Engle for A Wrinkle in Time, but in my opinion, this is the one that should be remembered.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Darling, everything's on fire.

Have you seen this?

I love how eerie and emotional it is; I think it's perfect for The Hunger Games. What do you think?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lies, Cinder, and Magic Washcloths

Now that the Incarnate Theatre Hunt is over, I'm sure you're all dying to know which was the lie! Well, if you guessed number three, then you were correct. No, sadly, Jodi Meadows' first book was not about an elephant named Walnut. She is, however, the Queen of Ferrets, and she would totally be Rumpelstiltskin. But not like this one:

Although he's wonderfully creepy, Jodi would be a much cuter Rumpelstiltskin. And she wouldn't steal babies.

I haven't really been talking much about books recently. This is due to a couple of reasons: one, I haven't had a ton of time for free reading. Secondly, I haven't been very impressed with most of the books I have read recently. But now I have something to talk about! Because I just read Cinder, and it was awesome.

This arrived in the mail two days ago. (I won it from Mermaid Vision's stop on the tour. Thank you!) I stuck it in my backpack yesterday to read between classes, and oh my gosh, when it came time for chemistry it was harder then usual to make myself go. Later, when I was waiting for the bus, I eagerly pulled out Cinder to read while I waited. The man sitting on the bench beside me had to say "Ma'am, the bus is here." He thought I wasn't going to notice, but I totally would have. You know. Eventually.

When I got home, I really should have been preparing for a guinea pig clinic I was helping teach today. I also needed to go to bed early because I had to leave the house at 6:40 this morning, but oh, I couldn't stop reading.

Cinder has renewed my faith in third person narration. In that sense it read like a classic fairy tale, but the third person didn't distance me from the story at all. I loved each and every character, and there were a couple scenes, even some early in the story, that had me sniffling.

I loved that Cinder was a cyborg. Cyborgs are second class citizens, and in many ways it gave Cinder, our Cinderella character, more dimension. It was easier to understand why her stepmother despised her and why she had limited options in society.

There's a cute love story that wasn't too much to fast, and it never had me rolling my eyes. I really appreciated what Meyer did with the prince. He's young and thrust into a position of authority he's not quite ready for, and that was shown well through some of his sarcastic comments and attitude. You see him struggling to lead his country through difficult decisions, but I think it's obvious he's going to be a great leader. I really liked that we were able to see his youth and potential at the same time.

Even though it wasn't hard to guess some of the major plot devices early on, the story was compelling and the climax had me biting my lip and turning pages as fast as I could. And the end! Oh, the end. My only complaint is that the next book doesn't come out until 2013. When I finished, I wanted to go right back to the beginning, just to spend more time with the story. I can't guarantee you'll love it like I did, but I definitely recommend giving it a try.

In other news: We were at the dollar store today, getting supplies for a Mardi Gras party at church tomorrow. Guess what I found? Magic washcloths! I was giddy with excitement. I got a Rapunzel and Ariel, as well as a couple for some kids I babysit. The magic and mystery is truly stunning. You drop a smooshed bundle of fiber into warm water and suddenly, you have a poor-quality washcloth with a princess on it. So awesome.

Shall we recap? Jodi Meadows is Rumpelstiltskin, but not a creepy one, Cinder was awesome and you should all read it, and magic washcloths are the best thing to happen to washcloths, ever.

Have you read any super-amazing books this year? (Have you read Cinder? Did you absolutely love it, too?) Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And the winner is . . . .

***If you are looking for my Incarnate tour stop, please click here. Or just scrowl down. Either way works. :]***

Thank you to everyone who entered my Imaginary Girls giveaway! Sebrina is the lucky winner. All sorts of official e-mails have been sent and confirmed, and Imaginary Girls will be on its way to her shortly.