This is so cool -- Shannon Hale, whose books I love has a short interview posted on her blog right now. . . an interview with me. Jacksmoke! How cool is that?
I confess I have greedily read all the comments to the post, and it was lovely to be talked about (hee hee)! I was amused (ahem) by one "Dante" who felt it necessary to not only criticize my hair, but to inform Shannon that in fact to be "sassy" is a bad thing, and. . . that all we Americans are eejits and shmoes for calling The Golden Compass "The Golden Compass" rather than its British title, "Northern Lights." Gee, Dante, aren't you a ray of commenting sunshine! Thanks for the feedback! Ha ha.
But enough of Dante. Thank you Shannon! Did I say how much I love Shannon's books? I recently reread and reloved The Goose Girl, which I mentioned a few posts back, and I'm really hungry to read her first adult novel, Austenland, which came out this year. One of my not-so-guilty pleasures is Jane Austen fan fiction -- there are many out there who would have me (and my fellows) feel guilty about it, as if we're somehow subverting the Legacy of Jane, but I don't see it that way. Austenland isn't really fan fiction, like say "Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife", because it's contemporary and not about the actual characters, but it still treads on hallowed ground for the Defenders of the Legacy. Sounds so fun! I also loved and posted about Shannon's [Newbery Honor-winning] Princess Academy some time in the past year.
And thank you Robin Brande for reading my book while flying across the country and even in the cab at the risk of car sickness! Robin is the author of the new book Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature that I read last week -- it's a really terrific contemporary teen novel (young teen and mid-grade okay too) about a hot topic: the teaching of evolution and "intelligent design" in public schools. I thought she handled the issue brilliantly, created the perfect character and point of view that made it a great, fun read besides being "topical", and has provided something really valuable and relatable to the debate. Yay, Robin! She's also the organizer of the kid-lit blogger conference coming up in Chicago in a few weeks -- I can't wait to meet everyone!
While I'm talking about books, I need to mention this one too: The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Holy cow. This book is so, so, so beautiful. This is a wordless graphic novel that, well, words can just not do justice to. You gotta see it. It's an art book, telling a story entirely in pictures. From beginning to end, this book captures the overwhelming strangeness of new experience for an immigrant entering a new land, the shock of the unknown all around him, the arcane and beautiful and inscrutable ways of a foreign place. Tan takes the art to the level of the surreal, in order to give a universal understanding of the utter alien-ness of new experience. And it is SO COOL. You just want to pore over the art, examine every gorgeous detail as the story unfolds. Check this OUT.