Michele Regenold, Writing for Kids from the Boondocks

A blog about writing for children and the quest for publication.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

What to read

I took a look at the American Library Association's 2006 list of notable books, which includes most of the major award winners. I recognized the names of two people I've met: April Pullye Sayre is a Vermont College grad who spoke at the January residency and Stephanie Greene is a current student with many novels already under belt. Tobin Anderson, whom I haven't met but who has been a faculty member at VC, also had a book on the list.

I figured this list would be an excellent source of material for some of the 100 books I'm supposed to read this semester. I haven't read any of the notable books yet. Since I'm working on a YA mystery and reading so many mysteries, I wanted to check the list for notable mysteries.

I counted 99 books on the list. Based on the brief descriptions accompanying each title, I'm guessing there are two, possibly three mysteries on the list. I'll probably start with them, then the fantasy novels, then the other novels.

I'll skip the poetry. One course in literary analysis in college made me nervous around it.

The award winners have gotten quite a bit of discussion on the CCBC listserv, so I'll be sure to at least read a few chapters. But when a book gets described as "postmodern" the way this year's Newbery winner Criss Cross has been, I get a little nervous. As one may deduce from my preference for mystery and fantasy, I like traditional narrative. Nevertheless, I'll try to keep an open mind.


At 6:30 PM, Blogger J Larios said...

Michele - Don't give poetry a total miss, please! I admit, it's badly taught in school, but you can find great stuff out there. Try Billy Collins or Mary Oliver as entry points for enjoyable poetry, and work your way in to other poets. Try Mark Doty. Try Richard Wilbur. If looking for kids books, try Wilbur's Opposites or his Pig in the Spigot. Look at the new "Humor Issue" of Poetry Magazine. Don't demand hidden meanings and don't worry about analyzing any of it. Just find what you like and go with the joy of the language and with each poet's weird take on the world.

More about this if we meet in Vermont this summer, where I'll be joining the faculty of VC. [P.S. I've just posted a comment on the online Advisor/Student forum for VC, re: what kind of outside job is good for writers.]


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