Sunday, April 29, 2007

"Now, what am I to do with this creature..."

Let me tell you a little story...

Last week at the library, I asked the librarian to help me find a good book for a young reader.

"Please, I need a good book for a young reader..." I said.

The librarian blinked. "What kind of book."

"Well," I said, "This young reader (yeah, the young reader *is* me, and it's a stretch to call myself young I suppose, but I'm not OLD exactly)" enjoys fantasy..."

The librarian pointed to an island of short fat paperbacks with pictures of shiny dragons on them. Shiny dragons with digestive problems.

I contined "... but she likes old-fashioned fantasy, this young reader. She loves Edward Eager and E. Nesbit. Baum and Juster and Lewis and ... well, you know, the GREATS!"

The librarian blinked again. "Has she read Harry Potter?"

I responded in the affirmative. "Yes, she has."

The librarian scratched her head. "Lemony Snicket?"

"Yep!" I chirped.

"Well then," said the librian, I don't know what to tell you." And she wandered away... to kick someone off a computer.

Which leaves me without a clue for what to read. Again!

You might ask why a 32 year old (young) woman is reading children's books. And I could tell you that it's because I'm a children's author (which I am) but that would only be a partial truth. Because I've been reading (and re-reading) the same books for 25 years, and I've only been a children's author for two of those years...

But now I want NEW books, books that will live up to the standards of the books I love.

And so, henceforth and post haste... this site will become a little blog-roster, of the authors (for children) that I love best, and occasional rants on things that particularly touch, confuse, befuddle, or impress me in the touching, confusing, befuddling, impressive world of children's publishing.

This site will be irregular, as all fun things must be... updated whenever I feel moved to update. This site may be "cheeky".

But most of all, I hope this site will become a place where people who like to read VERY good books, (and perhaps have a penchant for the past) can find something new to read (whether or not it's newly written).

Finally, I reserve the right to post the occasional rant about nothing or everything, the occasional baby-picture (I have a baby!), and the occasional bit of personal news... because this is, after all, a blog.

For goodness sake.


Joni said...

I'd say that librarian needed to be, if not fired, at least given a week of vacation so she could actually read something decent and have a recommendation. Sad.

Kaethe said...

Good idea. It's useful to have a single place to check out all the best kids books of all time.

Have you read The Invention of Hugo Cabret yet? Or Toys Go Out?

From the classics realm, what about Treehorn? Have you read all of Terry Pratchett's Nac Mac Feegle books, and the Johnny Maxwell books, and the Bromeliad trilogy?

Those are just my favorites from this year.

Laurel said...

Oh, no I haven't. But I will right away!

Leila the Great said...

What about Shannon Hale's books, starting with The Goose Girl?

Laurel said...

I just ordered them!!! I love the look of Princess Academy!

Bec said...

You might also want to try "The Penderwicks" by Jeanne Birdsall. I haven't read it yet (hopefully this weekend), but I've heard good things.

Laurel said...

I liked the Penderwicks a lot! It's a little bit younger, but really well done.



Renee said...

I work in the children's dept. at the library and I cannot believe that's all the help she could give. That's awful I feel embarrassed. As for reading kids books lately I've found reading picture books and juv. fiction much more exciting than reading "adult" books. I just read a hilarious picture book called Scaredy Squirrel Finds a Friend, by Melanie Watt, I'd give it a try.

Laurel said...


And I just want to say to all the librarians out there that I LOVE librarians (of course). My grandmother was a children's librarian, and the acknowledgements page in my next book has specific mention of the amazing librarians of the Enoch Pratt Free Library (in Baltimore) who basically raised me.

This was a very specific isolated incident at a really understaffed and underfinanced library, and its likely the librarian was NOT someone with expertise in children's. Possibly a temp worker or something.

I certainly don't mean to suggest that librarians are NOT doing their jobs! Librarians rock.