Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Tried to post this morning but BlogSpot was having technical difficulties. Got busy grading and working on other projects and forgot about it. But, I have an online chat with my undergraduate class in an hour so I thought now would be the time to write. We are discussing The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, Being Dead, and What My Mother Doesn't Know. Quite a mix of genres - fantasy, horror short stories, and a contemporary verse novel.

As much as I have tried to be a Pratchett fan I am not. I have read Hat Full of Sky and The Wee Free Men, which are about Tiffany Aching, a young witch learning how to deal with her powers. Yes, I did enjoy the antics of the little blue feisty "fairies" who help her out, but I wasn't as enchanted by them as many are. I also read The Bromaliad Trilogy and liked it better, but that did not make me want to wade through the myriad of Discworld titles. But many teens do. Pratchett's fan base is enormous both with teens and adults. Amazing Maurice is my favorite of those I have read, though I like Napoli's Breath better as a rewrite of the Pied Piper of Hamlin story - it certainly is more gruesome and for older teens.

Now, Vivian Vande Velde is more my style. I love Never Trust a Dead Man. How can you not love a book where a young man is accused of killing a guy who is then brought back by a witch, but accidentally in bat form. The boy and the bat then try to figure out who the murderer is. But, my favorite Vande Velde book is Companions of the Night. It is the first one of her books I read and since I enjoy vampire tales, this one held my attention. Who would figure the guy being beat up in the laundromat is a vampire? Makes you think twice about going back in the middle of the night to get your little brother's left behind teddy bear now doesn't it?

Sonya Sones has a strong following for her verse novels. They are quick and easy reads and are about subjects teenage girls can relate to. My favorite is Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy. Verse novels have become very popular. I have been looking at how many of them have appeared on both BBYA and Notable Children's and it is surprising.

Don't you ever wish that you had an extra 24 hour time period for just reading? There are so many great books out there that I have missed and would like to read, like all of the Tamora Pierce fantasy novels that I have missed. I read all of the Alanna ones, but haven't kept up with the rest.