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I spent the past week (month) (several months) in panic/crunch mode on a manuscript and missed commemorating a rather significant milestone here: Scott and I celebrated the 25th anniversary of our first date. Our 20th wedding anniversary is coming up in May, but in many ways this week’s date is the more significant, the more earthshaking, life-altering. We met at callbacks for a college play (Black Comedy) in February 1989. I was head over heels for him immediately. He seemed keen on me too. On March 3rd I invited him to my roommate’s birthday party. He took some coaxing—not a partygoer, is he—and somehow we wound up at a different party, either before or after my roomie’s (college, man), and we fell into a discussion of our mutual favorite books, The Lord of the Rings (remember, this was long before the films and you were part of a relatively small geeky subset if you were a Tolkien nut) and, well, we’ve been pretty much inseparable ever since. (Even my two years in grad school in North Carolina, when he was working in NYC, we talked every single night on the phone. And that brutal three-month stretch in 2006 just after Rilla was born when he came out here to San Diego to start the new job and I was back in Virginia trying to sell the house, we had an IM window open round the clock and often spent our evenings working together, each on our respective assignments. Ping, ping, ping.) I am still as ridiculously crazy about him as I was that very first day.
Anyway. I put some pictures on Facebook. Later in the week I was clicking around on the ‘related links’ below my posts, wandering back through funny kid stories I would have forgotten if I hadn’t blogged them, and I got swept with a tidal wave of gratitude for the chronicle this blog has become, this diary of our lives. His blog, too—even more so than mine, in so many ways—practically nothing is sweeter to me than glimpsing our children through his eyes, from his inimitable perspective. So, because I know I’ll be glad later that I did, I’m posting the photos here too.
Pretty sure this was the first picture ever taken of us. Would have been late March, 1989. Rehearsals for Black Comedy. In that show, if you haven’t seen it, there’s a blackout five minutes into the play, and the characters spend the entire rest of the show in the dark. When the show opens, the stage is pitch black, but for the characters there is light, and they are walking and talking as if all is normal. Then boom, blackout: the stage lights come up, and the actors stumble around as if plunged into utter darkness. We had to stick around campus during Spring Break and rehearse, and at one point there was a blindfolded egg hunt on the stage. You can tell our respective feelings about children’s Easter chocolate. I cannot say I have matured in that regard in the slightest.
Some months later but still ’89. I can tell because of the lipstick. It wouldn’t have been long after that that I bumped into Scott on my way (late) to an 8am class and he was all, wow, you look great, and I was all, but I don’t even have any makeup on…Ohhh. I just may marry this boy.
I don’t read a lot of short stories. As whole I find them unsatisfying and would much rather sink my teeth into something longer. All though in saying that I am a massive convert to serial fiction where you get to read 100-200 pages of a continuous story every 3-4 months. There has been a lot of buzz about George Saunders’ latest collection of stories and after receiving a strong recommendation to give him a go I did exactly that.
The first story, Victory Lap, was amazing. The way Saunders got into the head of the three characters so quickly and fully was something to behold. It is a powerful and dark story, told very delicately, that really kicked off the collection well. Saunders followed this up with Sticks, a really shorty story consisting of only two paragraphs that again packed a punch that belied its size. My other favourites in the collection were Escape From Spiderhead, which is about an unusual experiment conducted on prisoners and the powerful The Semplica-Girl Diaries which lures you into some absolutely biting satire.
The writing is amazing but by the end of the collection my feelings about short stories bore true again. I felt unsatisfied and wanting more exploration of the ideas Saunders was bringing up and commenting on. As a writer I can see that he is a masterful storyteller, as reader I just wanted a bit more to sink my teeth into.
Published in 1960 when Don Berry was 27, Trask is often mentioned in the same breath as Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion as the finest Oregon novel ever written. Set along the northern Oregon coast range in the late 1840s, Trask was inspired by the life of settler, mountain man, and fur trapper Elbridge [...]
It's Women's History Month, and in honor of that, two of our longtime Cybils judges, Kelly Jensen and Kimberly Francisco of the blog STACKED, invited 10 female YA authors (ahem, including your temporary blog editor) to write about either female YA authors, female YA characters, or broader topics about girls in YA.
I had a lot of fun talking about some of my favorite characters in fiction; others deal with more serious topics; but all of the posts are going to be GREAT. The series kicks off this week, so go check it out!
The Northwest's very own SFWA Grand Master writes a philosophical novel set in Portland, Oregon. George Orr goes to sleep and awakes in the world of his dreams — still Portland, but... different. Now anytime he goes to sleep, the world is capable of shifting, and no one seems to notice. What is the true [...]
Five questions for Lois Ehlert Chicka Chicka Boom Boom written by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault, illus. by Lois Ehlert, Simon, 2–5 years. Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert, Lippincott, 2–5 years. Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, Harcourt, 4–7 years. The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert, Simon/Beach Lane, 5–8 years. Under My Nose by Lois Ehlert, Richard C. Owen, 6–9 years. Hands by Lois Ehlert, Harcourt, 5–8 years. Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert, Harcourt, 4–7 years. Snowballs by Lois Ehlert, Harcourt, 4–7 years. Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert, Harcourt, 4–7 years. Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert, Harcourt, 4–7 years.
Lives lived large Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus, illus. by Evan Turk, Atheneum, 4–7 years. Dare the Wind written by Tracey Fern, illus. by Emily Arnold McCully, Farrar/Ferguson, 4–7 years. The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art written by Barb Rosenstock, illus. by Mary GrandPré, Knopf, 4–7 years. Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History written by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by James E. Ransome, Holiday, 4–7 years.
Things that stop and go My Bus by Byron Barton, Greenwillow, 2–4 years. My Car by Byron Barton, Greenwillow, 2–4 years. And the Cars Go… by William Bee, Candlewick, 3–6 years. Go! Go! Go! Stop! by Charise Mericle Harper, Knopf, 3–6 years. Everything Goes: By Sea by Brian Biggs, Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 3–7 years.
Flora and friends Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures written by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by K. G. Campbell, Candlewick, 6–9 years. Lulu’s Mysterious Mission written by Judith Viorst, illus. by Kevin Cornell, Atheneum, 6–9 years. Ivy + Bean Take the Case [Ivy + Bean] written by Annie Barrows, illus. by Sophie Blackall, Chronicle, 6–9 years. Operation Bunny [Wings & Co.] written by Sally Gardner, illus. by David Roberts, Holt, 8–11 years. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy written by Karen Foxlee, illus. by Yoko Tanaka, Knopf, 8–11 years.
Boys’ life Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf, trans. from the German by Tim Mohr, Scholastic/Levine, 12–15 years. Swim That Rock by John Rocco and Jay Primiano, Candlewick, 12–15 years. Sorry You’re Lost by Matt Blackstone, Farrar, 11–14 years. There Will Be Bears by Ryan Gebhart, Candlewick, 12–14 years.
These titles were featured in the March 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.
A heartrending and hilarious junior-high road-trip novel; a story about stepping up in dire straits; an exploration of grief, false exteriors, and hope; and a riveting depiction of a boy feigning manhood. These new novels featuring teenage boys offer coming-of-age drama with real heart.
Two teens abandon their lackluster lives and hit the Autobahn in the audacious tragicomedy Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf. Unpopular Mike lives a life of quiet desperation at his Berlin junior high; new kid “Tschick” comes to class drunk and might be in the Russian mafia. When Tschick rolls up to Mike’s house in a hotwired car and proposes a road trip without a map, destination, or driver’s license, Mike says yes. Mike’s narration is an anxious stream of wry humor and linked anecdotes, but the moments when his façade slips are startling windows into the pain of social exclusion and the aching loneliness of being fourteen. (Levine/Scholastic, 12–15 years)
Jake Cole’s father had been one of the best shell fishermen in Narragansett Bay until he injured his back and settled into running the Riptide Diner. When he goes missing, Jake and his mother lose their house, and now the diner is in danger of being repossessed. A mysterious character named Captain and the seasoned fisherman Gene Hassard help Jake earn money and learn the ways of the bay. With lushly detailed sense of place and character, Swim That Rock by John Rocco and Jay Primiano delineates the struggle of a boy coming to terms with his situation. (Candlewick, 12–15 years)
In Matt Blackstone’s Sorry You’re Lost, seventh grader Denny “Donuts” Murphy has felt alone and small since his mother died. So he intentionally develops a big persona: clowning in the classroom, making everything into a joke. Gradually, with the help of friends and a budding romance, Donuts sheds his manic showman exterior and learns to appreciate the good of the world. The first-person narrative reveals Donuts’s inner self, and what might have been just a series of cliched middle-school antics turns out to be a story of substance and hope. (Farrar, 11–14 years)
Thirteen-year-old Tyson figures he’ll make a fine outdoorsman: he’s been to a shooting range and owns all the Great American Hunter video games and Planet Earth DVDs. So when his grandfather (and, basically, best friend) invites him to go hunting in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest, he sees it as his chance to prove himself a man. But the combination of an inexperienced boy, a sickly seventy-seven-year-old man, and a killer grizzly bear reported in the park is a dangerous one. Ryan Gebhart’s There Will Be Bears is a satisfyingly complicated realistic drama that deals with big issues; excellent pacing will hold readers in its grip. (Candlewick, 11–14 years)
From the March 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.
My Kindle and I have been having an ongoing argument. I mentioned our disagreement back in November when it appeared that Kindle was developing an opinion about what I should and shouldn’t read. I thought we had come to an understanding after the incident since things went on in a friendly way for the next book or two. But January brought a few hiccups and February almost came to a melt down.
Now over the weekend I felt like Kindle and I were in the knife fight from Beat It except without the cool dance moves.
I finished reading David Copperfield and was queuing up my next book only Kindle refused to cooperate. It either kept trying to take me to the Amazon online store or would not let me page through my books to the one I wanted to read next. No amount of restarting helped. Amazon troubleshooting and forums all said restart and all will be well. Liars!
Finally I decided to take the nuclear option. I saved all my books onto my computer since most of the books on my Kindle are from Project Gutenberg and I didn’t want to have to download them all again nor did I want to lose my highlights and notes. Then I reset Kindle to its original factory settings. Zap!
But Kindle refused to bow down in submission. Resetting it also deregistered it from Amazon which means the few books I have bought were inaccessible and I couldn’t borrow an ebook from the library if I wanted to. When I tried to get to the settings menu to re-register Kindle, it refused to allow me to go to the page.
Kindle and I circled around each other, waving our knives. While Kindle was silent, I was not. Bookman became alarmed. Let me help you he pleaded. There is nothing you can do! I snapped. I was sorely tempted to break Kindle in half against the edge of the table and be done with it once and for all. But Bookman swooped in like Michael Jackson in the video, randomly pushed buttons, and suddenly Kindle decided to dance! I registered, plugged Kindle into my computer, copied all my books back to it and held my breath. Success!
Today I began reading Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin and Kindle continues to behave. We’ll see what Kindle will do when I am done with the book in a few weeks. Will it let me read another book without trouble? Time will tell. But for now we are getting along again.
Not your typical hotel-gift-shop guidebook, Fugitives and Refugees makes no pretense at objectivity. This is a decidedly idiosyncratic and personal book. Palahniuk's Portland is eccentric, dysfunctional, and perverse. If you're new to Palahniuk's work, this book may win you over. Books mentioned in this post Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in... Chuck Palahniuk Used Hardcover [...]
Perhaps Mark Twain said it best: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." It isn't the things we did that we most regret; it's the things we didn't do. To succeed at a high level, you must start expecting more. Even when you don't get everything you expect, you'll get a whole lot more than if you were expecting nothing at all. The moment you choose to settle, you guarantee you'll never achieve your real dream. Choose faith over fear.
Decision 2: I focus on solutions, not problem.
The bigger you dream, the more opportunity for obstacles, challenges and problems. Choose a mindset that sees these problems as opportunities for growth, and you will eventually walk into your vision.
Decision 3: I choose to be authentic.
Be yourself. Who else can you be? It takes less effort and energy to be yourself, but it also takes courage. Fear that you will not be accepted or approved just as you are can lead you to send your "representative" out into the world. She looks like the real you, but she's not. She's a counterfeit, and whatever success she has built on false pretenses that you must keep up to maintain success.
Decision 4: I choose courage over fear.
Like problems, fear is evitable. But it's not a stop sign. Fear is the most common obstacle to achieving true success and happiness. Fear tempts you to shrink from your authentic desires. It causes you to rationalize yourself out of a great idea. It leads you to pretend you don't really want what you really do want. Refuse to succumb to it. Make a decision that fear won't keep you stuck. Expect to feel fear. And when you feel it, keep moving forward.
Decision 5: I choose relationships wisely and nurture them intentionally.
Success doesn't occur in a vacuum. You need people, and they need you. Those with a strong support system have the resources that open doors of opportunity and empower them to manage any challenge. Don't go it alone.
Decision 6: I actively seed feedback and use it to grow. You need people around you who tell you the truth. Resilient people know this. And even when they don't like what they hear, they listen, process it and ask themselves, 'Is there a grain of truth to this feedback, even if it's negative? Be humble, and use failures and mistakes as learning tools. Put yourself around people who know more than you, and learn all you can from them.
Decision 7: I know my purpose and take daily action in the direction of my vision.
Consistency is key. If you continually take steps in the right direction, you will eventually arrive at your destination.
by Valorie Burton, who is a best-selling author and founder of the Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute. Add a Comment
I generally abhor the “ripped from the headlines” style of books and television shows. To the point that I’ve often wondered if the writers for those Law and Order shows get reduced rates since they’re not really creating things from whole cloth.
But here is a situation that could make for amazing fiction.
As soon as she got home, they called Ryan and began the two-hour drive to his place, in Hoboken. Ryan had also left his office early; by the time he got home, the police had taped off his apartment building. Adam had been carrying Ryan’s I.D., which had led to the confusion. Ryan approached the police with his arms up and said, “You’re looking for me, but I didn’t do it.” He was taken to a police station, so Peter and Shelley headed there, too. They were questioned for a couple of hours and were made to wait for two more before they were allowed to see Ryan. They went to the home of an aunt of Peter’s to regroup; they were shuttled to a hotel, then to Shelley’s family’s house and other safe houses, with a canine unit supplied by the police for security; they were interviewed by the F.B.I., the state police, and various local authorities. “We didn’t even have clothes,” Peter said. “I had to borrow my lawyer’s pants.” Eventually, they headed to New Hampshire to arrange Nancy’s funeral, and had to evade a stakeout by news media, which wanted to cover it. I asked what they had done about a funeral for Adam. “No one knows that,” Peter said. “And no one ever will.”
Without making excuses, or celebrating a tragedy, or passing judgement on anyone, that situation right there seems like a loaded opportunity for fiction. The whole article is worth reading and it is certainly getting lots of mainstream media coverage. But I’m just left wondering what fiction writers could do with those few hours and days.
1. to be 100% perfect 2. to follow the crowd 3. to love destructive people 4. to please unpleasant people 5.to apologize for being yourself 6. to drain your strength for others 7.. to feel guilty about what you desire 8.to put up with unpleasant situations 9.. to sacrifice your integrity for anyone 10. to remain in an abusive relationship 11. to do more than you have time 12.to do something you really cannot do 13. to conform to unreasonable demands 14. to give what you really don't want to give to bear the burden of another's misbehavior 15. to give up who you are for anybody or anything
Josh Cooley, a story supervisor at Pixar, has a book of illustrations available from Chronicle Books called Movies R Fun!: A Collection of Cinematic Classics for the Pre-(Film) School Cinephile (Lil’ Inappropriate Books) that puts classic R-rated movie scenes into the children’s book format.
The book includes 39 illustrations inspired by scenes from films including: Alien, Rosemary’s Baby, Fargo,Basic Instinct, Seven, The Silence of the Lambs, Apocalypse Now, and The Shining. The book is playfully drawn, but warning, this book is not for kids!
“I was just thinking of the humor of making those movies that aren’t for kids look like they are appropriate for kids — which they totally aren’t!” Cooley told The Daily Californian. “It’s basically for us — it’s for the ones that grew up liking these movies and liking children’s books and seeing what that would look like together.”
I think my last post mentioned that I would be participating in the 2-week Women's History Month series of guest author posts over at STACKED, called About the Girls--well, that kicked off today in stellar fashion with a post on one of those... Read the rest of this post
To kick-off the nomination process for stops on my upcoming book tour, I flew to New York City last week. I gave a presentation at one school while schools across the country watched online. Of course, flying from California to New York with snowstorms approaching, everyone (including me) was nervous about whether I'd make it on time. I couldn't miss it!
Thankfully, I made it.
Before speaking at the school, I went to my publisher's office to have brunch with some of the many people who continue to have so much excitement forThirteen Reasons Why (which is almost 6.5 years old now!).
Then I filmed a few videos that will be posted online in the near future. Like I always do after recorded interviews, I'm now thinking, "Why did I admit to that?" for a few of the answers.
We walked down to the Little Red Schoolhouse and Elizabeth Irwin High School (which is a mouthful, so thankfully they refer to it as LREI) for the webcast.
The students I spoke with in person were great. And I'm glad they were there! We had a back-up plan to do the webcast from the Penguin offices, with people from Penguin acting as my audience, if there was a snow day in NYC, but it all worked out. The front row in this pic is mostly made up of people from Penguin and School Library Journal (co-sponsors of this event).
The webcast will be posted on the SLJ site soon, and I'll link to that here when it's up.
It's weird being in such a large city where I have several really good friends, but having so little time to see any of them. I did get a chance to make a loop through Central Park with Carolyn Mackler, though. Here I am munching on goodies from Magnolia Bakery, a shop that gets a shout-out in our book, The Future of Us. In the background is Belvedere Castle, a location in one of Carolyn's previous books.
Before leaving, I had a delicious dinner with a few of my favorite people at Penguin: Carmela Iaria, Jessica Almon, and Ben Schrank. (If you're from Penguin and aren't in this photo, you should've been there. Because you're one of my favorite people, too!)
Back in California (you'll notice the clothes in the following photos don't look as warm), I was invited to participate in a stop on Lauren Oliver's book tour. Lauren was an editor at Razorbill when they bought Thirteen Reasons Why. When she became an author herself, I gave a quote for her first book, Before I Fall. And now she's promoting her eighth book, Panic.
Meanwhile, I'm still working on book three.
Before the event, I got to meet up with my good friend, now a Razorbill author herself(!), Romina Russell. Her book, Zodiac, comes out this December.
I got to the bookstore early, but not as earlier as I was hoping because of the L.A. Marathon and a cab that never showed up. I always like to take a sneak peek at how many people are sitting in the audience about 30 minutes before we begin.
As someone who doesn't take selfies often, I'm somehow ending up with two selfies in this one blog post. And while Ellen's selfie at the Academy Awards (which I watched while in NYC!) broke Twitter with its massive retweets, I'm certain the crowd in ours reads much better books.
Look here, guys! We've been honored by Middle Shelf Magazine, an online magazine about middle grade books, with a Best of the Blogs Award for 2014!!!!
The Iron Guy is actually speechless. I'm very touched, so all I can says is "Thank you," to Middle Shelf Magazine. And to all you boys who've read this blog and written in those terrific reviews. And to all you grownups who've supported us over the years. And especially to Charlotte Mecklenburg Library for letting me tell you about terrific books these seven years and providing all those books to all you readers. Thanks again and check out the Middle Shelf site here and look at pages 52-53--and be sure to check out the other blogs as well.Add a Comment
The great Stewart Holbrook was a storytelling titan and remains one of the most important writers in Pacific Northwest history. Wildmen, Wobblies and Whistle Punks is a career-spanning collection of over two dozen pieces set mostly in Holbrook's beloved Oregon. Comfortable writing about nearly anything, his true tales often dealt with the fantastic, the forgotten, [...]
The Writers' House at Century Farm, a creative retreat in Washington's Skagit Valley is the perfect place to create--a unique farmhouse that has been in the Skagit Valley since the dawn of the 20th century. A hundred year old barn to inspire you, acres of bucolic green fields and colorful flowers to help clear away your writer's block and give you the mental space you need.
The 2014 spring retreat session at The Writers' House at Century Farm with Jennifer Basye Sander, NYT bestselling author, former Random House senior editor, and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published, will be held Sunday–Tuesday, April 13–15th. This is your chance to write surrounded by fields of flowers during the world-famous Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
Arrive mid afternoon on Sunday to meet the other three writers and get settled in your private room. Spend the next few days in blissful creativity, working on your project, writing together with the other participants, consulting with Jennifer, enjoying home cooked meals and the free flowing wine while you discuss all manners of literary things far into the night. This is just the way you always wanted your writing life to look!
About the Write At The Farm Retreats --
After years of doing writers' retreat weekends at our house in Tahoe, I am bowing to requests to do something up at the family farm in Washington. Located in the heart of the Skagit Valley just down the road from the tulip headquarters, my great-grandfather's farm is midway between the towns of La Conner and Mt. Vernon, about an hour and a half north of Seattle. Easy to get to, and wonderful to settle into once you are there, relax and let the scenery and the history inspire you. All you have to do is be a writer for those few days, I take care of everything else. Meals, wine, and a private room with shared bathroom are included in the $395 price, and there are only four spots available. This is your chance to spend a pampered but productive and creative three days in the company of other writers and publishing folk. To reserve your spot or ask questions:
Kate DiCamillo’s Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (illustrated by K. G. Campbell; Candlewick, 6–9 years) — that warmly told and illustrated story of a comics-loving girl, a superheroic squirrel, and their friendship — took home the 2014 Newbery Medal. The following primary and early intermediate novels also star smart, spirited girls on adventures big and small, all accompanied by energetic illustrations — a winning combination for Flora fans.
Lulu (Lulu and the Brontosaurus; Lulu Walks the Dogs) may not be the “serious pain in the butt” she once was, but she’s still a tough customer. When Lulu’s parents go on vacation without her, she meets her match in babysitter Sonia Sofia Solinsky. Ms. Solinsky thwarts Lulu’s schemes to oust her, eventually revealing that she is a spy and a spy-trainer. Readers may wonder: is Ms. Solinsky truly a spy? No matter; craving her tutelage, Lulu behaves with uncommon decorum. Author Judith Viorst and illustrator Kevin Cornell’s farcical Lulu’s Mysterious Mission will tickle younger listeners and emerging readers. (Atheneum, 6–9 years)
A black-and-white movie featuring a tough-talking private investigator inspires Ivy and Bean to solve some mysteries, starting with “The Mystery of What’s Under the Cement Rectangle” in everyone’s front yard. The other kids on Pancake Court become less impressed with each case — until a mysterious yellow rope appears tied to the chimney on Dino’s house and the friends investigate whodunit. With Ivy + Bean Take the Case, the tenth entry in the popular series written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, it’s no mystery why these chapter books continue to please: clever stories and illustrations to match. (Chronicle, 6–9 years)
In author Sally Gardner’s and illustrator David Roberts’s Operation Bunny, Emily is demoted to Cinderella status after the birth of her (deliciously nasty) adoptive parents’ own triplets. Fortunately, an elderly neighbor and her talking cat change everything. Soon Emily is neck-deep in magic: figuring out her role as the Keeper of the Keys, tracking down a mysterious shop she has inherited, and thwarting a witch who turns people into unlikely-hued rabbits. While reaching a satisfying conclusion, this first brisk, entertaining entry in the Wings & Co. series will leave readers eager for the next. (Holt, 8–11 years)
Exploring the museum where her father is a curator, Ophelia spies a boy through a cleverly hidden keyhole. He tells her that he’s a prisoner of the Snow Queen. To defeat her, someone must find the boy’s missing sword — and that someone is clearly Ophelia. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is a fable of psychic healing, in which Ophelia, mourning her recently deceased mother, must battle the queen and her sword, the Great Sorrow. Author Karen Foxlee’s deftness with characterization and setting makes this a satisfying fantasy. (Knopf, 8–11 years)
From the March 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.