But given all the apologies for absenteeism I've been reading on my friends' pages, it seems I'm not the only one who's been taking an inadvertent blogging break. The silver lining, I suppose, is that we must all be busy working. Right? Working?
In addition to maintaining production of the newspaper I edit, juggling freelance assignments (I've written three leveled readers in the past three months. So. Much. Fun. Serious fun!), and keeping my MG humorous fantasy revision toddling along, I've been immersing myself in all things Twitter. Now, faced with the egregious freedom of a blog post, I feel like I did in one of my college English classes when the professor assigned us a five-page paper--after a full term of nothing longer than a single page. What do you do with all that space, with all those words?
Not to worry. I'm not planning to fill up the entire internet. (Not today, anyway. Kinda tired.)
I will just say that, yes, a little late to the party, I'm at last reading The Mysterious Benedict Society as I take a break from all the ARCs I picked up at ALA--and enjoying it so much. Very Lemony Snicket (though the narrator is much less snarky. Maybe not snarky at all, even). And it reminds me so much of one of my childhood faves, The Silver Crown by Robert C. O'Brien. I remember my sixth-grade self was shocked when the protagonist's home (and family) was blown up early in the book, but was soon so caught up by the adventure that I just pushed the strangeness of it all aside and thoroughly enjoyed it. In an unexpected way, Mysterious Benedict also reminds me of The Penderwicks, which I didn't want to end. (Didn't want the sequel to end, either! Why is Jeanne Birdsall only planning five volumes?)
The kids are all decent people, all struggling to overcome the challenges facing them. None of them are sappy, sickly sweet--but still, there's an innocence in the world of these books.
I remember at one SCBWI conference, an editor was speaking about YA books, and pushing the envelope--saying, basically, there are no taboos anymore, and that writers need to write accordingly. One attendee asked simply, "What about The Penderwicks?" pointing out the success of that book, despite its innocence.
There's room for all on the bookshelf--no?