I’ve been guilty of being full of opinions when it comes to literature. If I don’t like a book, I’ll tell you, but I’ll also tell you why. I find that more times than not no one really wants to hear the “why”, especially if it contradicts what one believes.
For instance, it is no secret that I dislike the Twilight series, by Stephanie Meyers. Most women in my family love it. Other than the fact the grammar and language used was sub-par to Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIHM, a book I had read in second grade, (I wanted to name our dog Nicodemus–that was quickly shot down by my mother, whom named the poor puppy “Sniffer”. Little good that did–a few months later, my parents got a divorce and my father gave Nicodemus/Sniffer away. But I digress) I found it rather convoluted. If I wanted to read about a girl wanting to get into the pants of a vampire, I’d read Anita Blake–wait a minute…fridge logic striking me again….
But my ranting about how I am so not understanding women is not the topic of this blog. Rather, I’d like to bring the reader’s attention above at the photo.
It seems as though in the past thirty or so years, what is considered “young adult” or “teen” literature has gotten less literary. Take the Green Sky Trilogy (Below the Root, And All Between, and Until The Celebration) by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Not only are they well written and articulate, they also manage to tell an amazing tale with a moral without being preachy. For example:
“There were times, during the early days of his novitiate, when it seemed to Raamo that the life of a novice was very like that of a Kindar child during his years at the Garden. Many of these novice classes where quite similar to those taught at the Garden, at least in method and approach. As a Garden child learned the Forest Chant, by imitation and repetition, Raamo and Genaa learned how to conduct an endless number of ceremonies and celebrations — how to administer to the ailing, how to take part in a Vine procession, and how to conduct a public celebration of Peace or Joy.” –excerpt from Below the Root
This was a series intended for grade school children, around 10 or 12 years old. They are intelligent and thought-provoking, with characters one cares about throughout the story. There’s conflict involved between Kindar and Erdling and Kindar, and all the protagonists work together to solve the trials thrown in their way. And, good merciful Primus on Gallifrey, the use of the English language is lyrical and beautiful.
Maybe it’s the fact that I find the first-person novels I’ve read, especially in the paranormal romance/urban fantasy, a bit pretentious. That and I’ve read Anita Blake novels. And yes, I do tend to have an issue with plots that seem to have been swiped from the back of a lorry, intentional or not.
Which reminds me: tomorrow night, pick up Battle Royal on Blu-ray. As for you, dear reader, hunt down the Green Sky Trilogy.