Reading to Write - My MG Addiction
Photo by Sara Berry
I've been making a real effort to read MG this year because as everyone in publishing says, you've got to read the genre you want to write. The MG age group and its writing possibilities really appeal to me - especially now that darker is acceptable.
For me, MG age is when everything really starts to change. You still get treated like a kid by the adults around you (which can create great conflict), but you can see adults' fallibility. Hormones start to come into play, but there's less of that irritable hormone overdrive that happens in the more high school time frame. (At least that's how I remember it.)
All Thanks to My Local Library
New York Public Library Reading Room by Derek D
I'm not quite positive that I've read all of the following MG books since January, but I definitely read them in the last 365 days:
- Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
- The Greenglass House by Kate Milford
- Septimus Heap Series by Angie Sage (I've only read the first 3 so far):
- The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins:
- Gregor The Overlander
- Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
- Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods
- Gregor and the Marks of Secret
- Gregor and the Code of Claw
Please, Suzanne, Don't Leave Me Hangin!
Because a Laundry Room was Gregor's Entry to the Underland
Photo by Tobias Löfgren
All of these books were good (seriously, I'm not just saying that - they really were), but I've got to make a special plug for the Gregor/Underland books. Gregor gets sucked down a laundry ventilation shaft with his baby sister, Boots, into The Underland. In the Underland there's a war going on between the super pasty human Underdwellers and the ginormous, talking rat Underdwellers. The rest of the species (Bats, Cockroaches, Spiders, Mice, etc.) are mostly caught in the middle, although the Bats definitely align with the humans and serve as their flying mounts. Think of these other creatures as you do the Talking Animals of Narnia - they aren't just big and smart, they're individuals in their own right.
These books are action-packed, and the characters are phenomenal. I'm not going to consider this a spoiler b/c I won't tell you which book it happened in, but I cried when a giant Cockroach died. That's how good Suzanne is! Honestly, it was one of the most valiant deaths in the series, and, yes, she does kill off a fair number of characters, although it wasn't nearly to the Hunger Games level.
The Gregor books are addicting and thought-provoking, much like Suzanne Collin's other series. (You know, that one about the kids in some game.) My only complaint is that I REALLY need to know what happens to the characters after the fifth book ends! Seriously, Suzanne, where's that 6th book??? I need it! Please! What do I have to do to make that happen?
Did I mention they're addicting?