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Journal
Monday, June 21, 2004
Blogging Books Number 1.
Seem to remember this blog promised to be about books. Also hope, dear reader (or deafening silence!) that you've remembered these may not be straight-from-the-marketing-campaign titles, but books that have gathered a few fingerprints before appearing here.
So, here's my Blogging Books Number 1.
Susan Price's "THE STERKARM KISS".(ISBN 0-439-97838) It's been part of a bookpile by my bedside in a "saving the favourite chocolate" sort of way. Loved "The Sterkarm Handshake", then felt v. smug guessing what the Kiss IS before I'd read the book.(Not telling, okay?) This re-creation of the Border reivers life, set in a landscape I know a little and love a lot, is so full of energy. I was gripped by the tension between the brutal innocence of the past, and, as his schemes slowly tighten, the awfulness of the corporate thug and villain Windsor. Probably in paperback by now.
Robert Swindell's "NO ANGELS" (ISBN 0-14-131467-1) Another example of Robert Swindell's skill in creating a rich plot, heightening themes by the use of two or more "voices" in the telling. Nikki, running away from abuse and disbelief at her home, and the 19th century vagrant Nick, who works for strange Doctor Snow, live their stories in the same part of London, but not at the same time. It was Nick I remembered afterwards, maybe because of his particularly hopeful "voice", despite everything, and maybe because his story includes the London wells-and-cholera-statistics link.
Last in this set is "BLOODY JACK" by L.A. Meyer (ISBN 0-330-41819-6) a ripping "Girls Own" sea adventure, full of pace and action. Told by our heroine, her voice manages to be of the past, but direct and briskly engaging too. Mary Faber escapes to sea as sailor-lad Jacky. The dangers and perils she faces are great, but, as her femininity develops, include the possible discovery of her disguise. An excellent read for those exhausted by the screen version of "Master & Commander". There are other Meyer titles around, too, though I suspect the plain red cover with antique style black titling doesn't exactly welcome the young reader in.
Must go. Feeling a touch guilty suggesting reads for keen readers of ten years and over, rather than the wonderful seven-to-ten-year-olds where my reading and writing heart lies! Bye for now.
 
A blog about the life, times and travels of a Children's Writer, Storyteller and Book Week Visitor. For more writerly thoughts, pop over to my other blog The Year Of Mouse (http://theyearofmouse-pennydolan.blogspot.com/) Squeak!

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