She’s reading the Percy Jackson series now – any suggestions an advanced reader the twelve year old range?
Diana Wynne Jones, Karen Healey, Emily Roddha, Tamora Pierce.
I’ve found it interesting that I have never judged book by the gender of the author, and that people actually do this??
If you look at that gender-flipping covers thing Neil posted, you can see one of the many little signs you get, whether this book is 'for you' or not. Makes me think that maybe the black 'adult' covers for the Harry Potter books also told older guys they were okay for them to read.
In the self-help genre, I think the best book I ever read was by Barbara Sher. I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was. One of the few in the genre where the author seemed to understand clearly that everyone is different, and in particular, everyone has different problems. So she approached it by a big basket of common problems, with her take on how to turn it around. Very practical, and just tasted so much less of snake oil than the countless self-help books that line the shelves and make their authors absolute fortunes. Instead of just trying to pump you up with false confidence, it's about tackling head on your actual blockers. Kind of book in which only one chapter might really be relevant to you, but for that it was worth every cent. It's up there with What Color Is Your Parachute? in terms of self-help books that actually did help me.
Dava Sobel. Longitude and Galileo's Daughter. There are a couple of men who come close, e.g. Tim Flannery and the underrated Colin Tudge, but her knack of making epic science stories uncompromisingly accessible is about as good as that kind of thing gets for me.
When I was 12 I loved Maurice Gee's O trilogy, and Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar books. Both male authors, but ones that write well from a female POV (although in hindsight perhaps there's scope for argument about that in the case of Maurice Gee). Terry Pratchett's female protagonists are also great, and something a 12 year old could grow into.
The Hunger Games books have a strong YA following, but I'm not sure I'd recommend them for a 12 year old, unless they're the sort of 12 year old who's been reading their friends' older siblings' battered copies of Stephen King or VC Andrews or Jean M Auel on the sly.
I was probably reading Duder as much as Gee for my 12 year old NZ fiction tastes. Night Race To Kawau was one I read a number of times – I could really relate to the trial they went through which made it a great segue to a novel that’s entirely full of women and girls talking to each other about things that aren’t just men. Great wakeup call to me about the dangers of cavalier masculine attitudes in an environment as dangerous as the sea.
Diana Wynne Jones, Karen Healey, Emily Roddha, Tamora Pierce
All seconded. DWJ rocks. Also, Diane Duane.
Oh, and for the 12 year old, Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea books, especially the first three.
And the Mary Poppins books. Fabulous fantasy – entirely unlike the movie – and I admire PL Travers editing them to get rid of the racist tinges in more recent years.
The idea of not reading women writers is about as absurd to me as not liking bacon.
After Ursula Le Guin, Angela Carter probably had the strongest impact on me as an early reader. It was a long time ago now, but reading The Passion of New Eve at an impressionable age... left an impression.
More recently friends at Time Out Bookstore (plug) recommended Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Series, and I read the first three in quick succession, and am eagerly awaiting the 4th and final one due in translation later this year.
Ferrante seems to me to have one of the strongest female (strangely I wanted to say 'not male') voices in any fiction I've read, and I loved it.
Also, because I'm not above blowing smoke (cough), Emma, your writing 'voice' is one of my favourites. :-)
Angela Carter probably had the strongest impact on me as an early reader.
Sadly I never discovered her until around a decade ago. Some of her stuff reads like backstory for something she seemed to be working up to, which only adds to the sense of her being cut off as she approached her prime. As inventive in her own way as Margaret Atwood.
cut off as she approached her prime
I agree. With the works she had produced, at 51 you’d think the world was ahead of her. Fuck cancer.
If we’re making lists, some perhaps not mentioned above:
Janette Turner Hospital ( Due Preparations for the Plague, The Claimant)
Téa Obreht, who has yet to follow up the amazing debut The Tiger’s Wife, but apparently is working on something.
Rachel Kushner, although The Flame Throwers wasn’t quite as good as the hype suggested, IMO.
'Tis pity she's a hua...
I hear that Eleanor Catton has a coupla good books under her belt, too...
...I enjoyed them
Any other fantasy readers ever get into Julian May?
I read and re-read 'Saga of the Exiles' half-a-dozen times as a young teen.
How about people not whining 'why won't she go out with me?', 'why won't he go out with me', and perhaps focus on how you can be someone that another person would want to go out with. Get a hobby, learn a useful skill, contribute to society, create something ..or yes, read a book. This is useful for whichever gender you identify with.
Colleen McCullough (the Masters of Rome series, haven't read any of her other stuff)
+1 for Julian May and Mary Gentle
and, um, Anne Rice...
Gwyneth Jones, especially the Aleutian stories, one of my favourite authors.
Suzy McKee Charnas (__The Vampire Tapestry__ offers an alternate Dr Lecter...)
C(atherine) L Moore
Newer authors getting noticed
Try http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/ for precis of each and see if you're interested.
Colleen McCullough..."A Creed For the Third Millennium"
Anne Frank..." I want to go on living after my death. And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift....of expressing all that is in me."
Oh, and Alice, as in "Go Ask Alice"
Memorable here for the remarkable Lud-in-the-Mist. Are you familiar with anything else she's written?
Another one-off author, Theresa Whistler, for The River Boy. I hope to live long enough to find another copy.
This 'Go Ask Alice'?
As long as they know it's a work of fiction written by Mormon youth counselor Beatrice Sparks, and not an actual diary written by 'Alice', which it's often presented as.
Yep. I have somewhere a copy circa 1974...and we all knew at high school it was not actually a real diary, by a real girl called Alice.
It was a VERY popular book...in the school library, and containing some really interesting language and themes.
Theresa Whistler, for The River Boy. I hope to live long enough to find another copy.
Eeek! Been looking on & off for yonks, either no luck or hugely pricey. Just looked again on eBay, got one for 99p. Thanks Emma et al for providing the kick in the arse.
Anyone out there got a spare copy of The House That Beebo Built (1975)
by Janine Ast (Author), Alain Gree (Author), Philippe Fix (Illustrator)?
or any other Beebo books?