Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tiger, Tiger--

In the Forests of the Night (Den of Shadows)In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Random House - Laurel Leaf)

One of the last books I read in 2004 was this one, written when Atwater-Rhodes was a teenager. It's the start of a series with shapeshifting, vampires, and romance, and it was popular well before the Twilight craze, so if you'd like to see what the paranormal romance landscape looked like a decade ago, I'd recommend adding this one to your reading list. This book is pretty spectacular for a 13-year-old author--it's very consistent in point of view and shows that she thought about structure in the way she portioned out her chapters. I love this example of how telling stories isn't just for grownups (though one does need to be a legal adult to sign a publishing contract)--and as an example of how rare it is for someone to be ready to be an expert storyteller at such a young age. If you're a teen author and want to practice, I recommend lots of reading, lots of writing, and lots of sites where you can chat with other people in the same boat; one specifically for YA writers is Inkpop.

The Wee Free Men (Discworld)The last book I read in 2004 was The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins). It has pictsies in it! Tiffany Aching's little brother has been spirited away by faeries, and she's got to get him back. Her budding powers as a witch aren't quite a match for the scary faeries, so she'll need help from the Nac Mac Feegles, or the Wee Free Men. As with Pratchett's other stuff for kids, it's relatively light-handed with the puns and parody, which are the parts I always like best, but I still found this to be an enjoyable read.
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