N is for Never

N is for Never

It’s day 14 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter N Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

N is for Never.

There’s something about the word never that conjures magical feelings. Maybe it’s growing up devouring the magic of Never Never Land from 19th century writer J.M. Barrie in his memorable work Peter Pan. Other writers no doubt felt the same inspiration and even included the word in their titles. Here are two:

The Neverending Story

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

What I love about this story is that it touches on the pain of bullying. Chased by bullies, the narrator Bastian darts into a dusty bookstore and happens upon a book called The Neverending Story. Soon he finds himself not only immersed in the story but also a part of it. As Bastian encounters the dangers in the magical land of Fantastica, he begins to see his own strength and value–qualities he can take back with him into his reality. The book is fairly long, so if you don’t have time to read it, the movie The Neverending Story is absolutely beautiful and well worth viewing.

Neverwhere

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Never mind that this is not a young adult novel. It is a novel older young adults will enjoy reading. In fact, one of my students listed Neverwhere on his college personal statement as his favorite book, and another student used a quote from Neverwhere in her personal statement. I was so tickled that I had introduced this novel to both of them! Neverwhere would make it onto my own list of ten favorite books. Neverwhere contains magic, humor, pathos, romance, literary allusions. Everything that makes a work of fiction memorable, Neverwhere has.

What memories do you have of stepping into the land of never? What is your favorite magical book?

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

M is for Momentous

M is for Momentous

It’s day 13 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter M Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

Momentous.

My big, fat dictionary defines momentous as “of utmost importance’ and “having grave consequences.”

There is nothing more momentous in our everyday lives than losing a loved one, especially when that loved one dies before her time. Both of today’s young adult novels explore the momentous effects of losing a teen sister.

Minty

Minty by Christine Banach

I first came across Minty when I was searching for a twin book, which was one of the categories for the Book Challenge by Erin that I participate in. Minty and Jess are twins with matching dogs. As the book opens, Minty dies trying to save her dog from drowning, and Jess must learn to cope without her. The process is made more difficult when Minty re-enters her life as a ghost. (Yes, another ghost book! Who would have guessed?) I’ve never been a twin, but I cannot imagine a death more devastating than that of a young twin.

The Moment Before

The Moment Before by Suzy Vitello

Not twins, but Brady and Sabine are less than a year apart in age. They couldn’t be more different in personality. Brady is artsy and introspective while Sabine was wild and extroverted. When Sabine dies in a cheerleading accident, Brady’s life seems to crumble around her. In the wake of this momentous event, Brady finds herself re-examining relationships and discovering betrayals she was previously blind to before she can rebuild her life without her sister.

What is the most momentous book you’ve read–either containing a momentous event or having a momentous effect on you?

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

K is for Keen

K is for Keen

it’s day 13 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter K Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

The word keen describes today’s two novels perfectly. I like this word keen because it has so many meanings. Some are finely sharpened, distinctive in perception, eager. These definitions apply to the characters, stories, and writing of the following multi-award winning books.

Kira-Kira

  Kira-kira by Cynthia Kadohata

This is a beautiful book about family love and struggle. Older sister Lynn Takeshima protects and nurtures younger sister Katie, helping her to see all that is kira-kira (shining) until Lynn becomes ill and Katie must step up to help her family.

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

This novel brings to mind another definition of keen: intense. In Prentisstown residents can hear the thoughts of all other townspeople. I would call that intense–never being able to enjoy the quiet or have quiet, private thoughts. Not a place for introverts, I imagine. In this setting, Todd and his dog Manchee one day stumble upon quiet, but it is a quiet filled with a dark secret. Readers may be familiar with Patrick Ness from another prize-winning young adult novel and movie called A Monster Calls.

When purchasing fiction, do you take into account whether the book has won literary prizes? What is your favorite prize-winning novel?

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

J is for Justice

Justice.

It’s day 10 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter J Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

Teens focus on the fairness of things and are quick to point out when justice has not been served. Today’s two novels explore what justice is from different angles.

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre is not a young adult book, but it is a good book for young adults. Justice is not a part of Jane’s childhood. An orphan, Jane is emotionally abused by her aunt and later by the headmaster of the school where she is publicly marked as a bad girl. It is up to Jane to defeat the forces aligned against her–both malign and benign–and find justice.

Just Listen

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Former popular It girl Annabel has been unfairly treated and betrayed by both her best friend and her best friend’s boyfriend. But Annabel lacks the courage to speak up for herself and is soon the high school pariah. In order to find justice for herself and others, Annabel must summon the strength to speak and believe that people will just listen.

What’s your favorite novel that explores justice? Have you read either of these?

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.