YA REWIND: Redwall by Brian Jacques

314px-Canty-Redwall_Cover
April 3, 2013

Today on YA Rewind, I’m revisiting a certain sandstone Abbey in Mossflower Wood, home to anthropomorphic mice, squirrels, badgers, hedgehogs, moles, otters, and more. I’ll pay tribute to Brian Jacques as I once again explore his world of riddles, feasts, villainous vermin, and heroic exploits, and discuss the pros and cons of length in novels for young adults.

Read More >>

YA REWIND: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone
February 13, 2013

Today on YA Rewind, I talk about Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and the tremendous impact the boy wizard has had on my life. After, I spend some time on the Casting Couch discussing the first movie adaptation, its problems and successes, and why I would actually approve of a reboot in ten years.

Read More >>

Achievement Unlocked – First Drafts

One of the early covers I designed for added inspiration.
October 24, 2012

The story of The Practical Orphan’s Guide began about nine years ago, when I was a freshwoman at the all-female Mills College in Oakland, California. I was taking a class called ‘Advanced Fiction for Children and Young Adults,’ and was supposed to be working on a story about a group of kids who were the result of a mad scientist’s experiment meeting up in their teens and discovering their special powers. (It was very X-Men.) Whenever I got stuck on that, which was often, I worked on what was then known as Practical Kate, a spoof of sorts on all the fantasy literature about young orphans who have magical adventures. In its very first iteration it was in the third person, but once I switched to first person PoV, the book really took off.

Read More >>

YA REWIND: The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron

The-Lost-Years-of-Merlin-Book-Cover
September 20, 2012

Today on YA Rewind I revisit T.A. Barron’s YA fantasy The Lost Years of Merlin, which has been repackaged as ‘The Lost Years: Merlin, Book 1,’ and is scheduled to hit movie theatres in 2013 – though there’s no word on whether or not there’s even a finished script. I toss out a few casting suggestions for the Casting Couch, and of course, no episode would be complete without Book Jacket Theatre, the segment in which I pull really terrible blurbs from the ‘Paranormal Teen Romance’ section and give them all the melodrama they deserve.

Read More >>

YA REWIND: The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop

The_castle_in_the_attic
July 25, 2012

In this episode of YA Rewind I talk about middle grade fiction and books for young readers including a favorite from when I was a kid: The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop. Then I explore the differences between the rules of magic for kids and the rules of magic for adults, and later I share a performance from Book Jacket Theatre, the segment in which I pull really terrible blurbs from the ‘Paranormal Teen Romance’ section and give them all the melodrama they deserve.

Read More >>