Monday 9 May 2011

Recommendations for Miss H

A friend asked me over Twitter to recommend some books for his 13 and a half year-old daughter, who's currently into Cathy Cassidy, Kate Brian and Melissa de la Cruz (three authors who, to be honest, I've never heard of).

A little research showed that Cathy Cassidy is a British YA author of what look like girly early-teen stories; Kate Brian is the pen name of Kieran Scott, who writes love-and-friendship stories for the same audience; Melissa de la Cruz writes for the same audience again, with witches, vampires and werewolves.

So - not my usual bag. But I figured we could move from here into some fantasy, of the fairytale and dystopian vein.

The trilogies

Three coming of age series with strong female and male characters

Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' - Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass)

Patrick Ness's 'Chaos Walking' - The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men

Suzanne Collins's 'Hunger Games'

Time travel

I recommend Rebecca's Stead When You Reach Me to everyone I can. It is perfectly complemented by (in fact, is a direct homage to) Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.

Everyone needs some Terry Pratchett

The Bromeliad series (Truckers, Diggers and Wings) - a community of gnomes tries to make it in the big wide world

The Tiffany Aching books - Pratchett is at his wisest and gentlest with these four books about the young witch Tiffany Aching

Everyone also needs some Neil Gaiman

Start with The Graveyard Book, then perhaps try Stardust (I have to say, I got all soppy over the movie version of this with Claire Danes too).

Ancient History

Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth, the first of a series of historical adventure novels set in Roman Britain.

T.H White's Sword in the Stone (okay - more fantasy than history) - this book about the childhood King Arthur and his education by Merlin is still one of the wisest and funniest books I know.

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