I’m working with a student this summer who has started writing poetry and is really finding a voice with this genre. She is an avid reader but doesn’t read a lot of poetry. As a way to help her read more poetry in order to improve her craft, I suggested that she read some books in verse. Of course, I’d love to take full credit for knowing every awesome middle grade and YA book written in verse, but I don’t. So I did reach out to one of my favorite author friends and teachers, Erica George, for some suggestions. Erica’s novel Words Composed of Sea and Sky (while not told in verse does contain some great poetry) was already on my list. She suggested a few that were already on my tbr. And then she suggested Alone by Megan E. Freeman.
I apologize for being away from the blog for a bit, Dear Reader. It has been a busy month. I have read quite a bit since I blogged last–mostly adult fiction with a smattering of adult nonfiction (memoir) thrown in for good measure.
I read very little YA. A diet of all one thing doesn’t make for a healthy life. So I mixed up my reading this month.
“When the world isn’t selling what you’re looking to buy, you just have to take it upon yourself to cut your own pattern” (Murphy 305).
So much YA is coming-of-age stories, and Pumpkin by Julie Murphy is no exception to that rule. Since adolescence is a time of identity formation it’s really no big surprise that YA novels focus on protagonists accepting or rejecting identities–either identities they’ve formed or those thrust upon them by the world–and finding their place in their world.
10 days ago, I was in Lititz, PA. It is a cute little town with an AMAZING independent bookstore, Aaron’s Books. Aaron’s Books is a small store, but it is beautifully curated. I found myself needing to practice restraint, or I would have blown all my vacation money in one spot. I left Aaron’s with the newest Nicola Yoon–signed edition–the newest Julie Murphy–also a signed edition–three Selena Montgomery paperbacks, and the newest A.S. King–also signed. In fact Aaron’s is Amy King’s local bookstore, so they had every single one of her books signed.
I love a good thriller/suspense novel. My students do too. As a result, I read a lot of both YA and adult thrillers. So I was super excited when I saw The Lake this spring. The publisher’s teaser was “the undisputed queen of YA thrillers is back with a scary and suspenseful read about a summer camp filled with dark secrets.” This was totally in my wheelhouse. A thriller. Secrets. Count me in. And Barnes and Noble was offering a signed edition. Yes, please!