Unsurprisingly, as I write for young adults I tend to read the current crop of childrens’ books. As a boy I read Biggles, Greyfriars stuff, Enid Blyton Five and Seven books and Jennings. Then there were the classics of which my favourite by far was Treasure Island but any rip-roaring adventure was eagerly consumed.
But what of today’s stuff? I have to admit I read with a too critical eye which often stops me truly enjoying the story. I’m too concious of style and language I suppose. I’ve read Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy and am working my way through Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games books, both obviously very good examples of ‘proper’ writing for young adults. I don’t have the courage (or patience) I suspect to try much else.
I have recently read Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace because I have an interest in Zimbabwe and finished up wondering why it was so highly praised. Revolver by Marcus Sedgewick was OK but a bit lightweight. I enjoyed Unwind by Neal Shusterman but my pleasure was blunted when I realised I’d heard it on the radio so knew what was coming.
Next stop will be Angel Dust by Sarah Mussi, due out this month I think and then, with a deep breath I’m going to try Insignia by S.J.Kincaid. I’d better get my skates on though because in between all this reading I’m writing a new Y.A. book myself.