Reading Material for the Season

I loved reading ‎the Hunger Games. I picked it up on the recommendation of a friend and took to it in ‎keeping part of my current favorite genre -preteen fiction. As novels go, I do love me some ‎good Tom Clancy and Charles Dickins is peerless, but I have really come to enjoy the lightness ‎and ease of kids’ books. ‎

As Summer reading goes, this one is a real stand out piece that will satisfy your thirst for ‎action, tension, interpersonal drama, a little bit of romance and science fiction. What it won’t ‎do is last for more than a few days.

It’s a lightning fast read, so once you’ve devoured this set, ‎here are a few comparably enjoyable works of the genre:‎

‎We Have Always Lived in the Castle‎

Written by Shirley Jackson 1962‎

This is a disturbing tale of two sisters and their uncle who live holed up in their house, rarely ‎leaving for fear of the other inhabitants of their ordinary-seeming neighborhood. The backstory ‎is that some years before the story, their family had several other members murdered over ‎dinner one night. The prime suspect was the elder sister, but she got off on some lack of ‎evidence. The town never believed in her innocence, and deep animosity developed between ‎the surviving trio and their neighbors, a problem which is augmented by the psychosis of the ‎younger sister who narrates the book. ‎

A Single Shard‎

Linda Sue Park 2001‎

If personality studies and local color appeal to you, then you should check out some Linda Sue ‎Park. A Single Shard is the story of an orphan boy in ancient Korea who takes on work assisting ‎a potter in his village. Of all Ms. Parks’ excellent books, this one stands out especially to me ‎because of the endearing lead character. Orphan stories are hit or miss; they can be very sappy ‎or charming, and this one is well written.‎

‎The Thief of Always‎
Clive Barker 1992‎

If you like a story with a little of the creepy factor, Clive Barker has penned some decently dark ‎material. The Thief of Always is a monster that lures bored children in and devours them. ‎Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, there is no explanation for the creature, except that it ‎seemingly exists to feed off little boys and girls who aren’t satisfied with what they have. It’s ‎unsettling like Pinnochio.‎

‎The Boy Who Reversed Himself‎
William Sleator 1986‎

Ignore the hideous cover. This is science fiction about a suburban girl named Laura. She ‎reluctantly befriends a neighbor boy whom, she learns, is somehow entrusted with ‎communication with the fourth dimension. Yes indeed. Alien creatures and strange landscapes ‎in tow, the fourth dimension is described as a set of directions which are so inaccessible to ‎common 3D humans that they can exist around us like a whole other world without our even ‎noticing. It’s creative and a fun read.‎

About kirinjirafa

I have far too many interests, start far too many projects, and buy far too many books. Many of them are about giraffes, but not nearly enough. View all posts by kirinjirafa

5 responses to “Reading Material for the Season

  • sasperella

    Hey, some good suggestions here. I’m always on the look out for more children’s or young adult fiction to read (particularly written by women or starring female characters!) and I think I’ll give The Hunger Games a go!


    • kirinjirafa

      Awesome! Glad you liked the books- you’ll love Hunger Games, although it sells out quickly in the bookstores. If you can’t find it on a shelf somewhere, click the link above to get it on Amazon.

  • Sasperella

    OK, they’re now bought and winging their way to via the medium of The Internet and Royal Mail. Exciting times – I’ll let you know how I get on 🙂

  • Melissa Popp

    It’s great to have someone recommend Shirley Jackson–I think she is wonderful. I have all of her books and it’s getting to be about time to re-read them. “Raising Savages” is a funny account of her 4 children. The first of her works I ever read was “The Lottery” in 8th grade and it has stayed with me since then. I think her writings should be mandatory reading. Thank you!!

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