Suggested Reading List.
One of my favorite past times has always been to immerse myself in a good book, and to just lose myself. I feel that reading is a great way to relax, educate yourself, and most importantly to learn and have fun. I appreciate many types of books, but some of my favorites are Science Fiction/Fantasy and Children's books. Below are some of my notes on my favorite books, links to more reviews and information, and some literature links. Please note that many of these books may not be suitable for younger readers!
My Side of The Mountain, by Jean Craighead George "Every kid thinks about running away at one point or another; few get farther than the end of the block. Young Sam Gribley gets to the end of the block and keeps going--all the way to the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. There he sets up house in a huge hollowed-out tree, with a falcon and a weasel as his companions and his wits as his tool for survival." Indeed every kid does fantasize about running away to live in the woods! This is one of my favorite books! I literally wore out a copy of it as a child. I couldn't relate how many childhood fantasies were sparked by this book. This is a very imaginative and special book.
The Monument, by Gary Paulson.From Horn Book Mick Strum, an artist, creates a memorial to honor the war dead of Bolton, Kansas. In doing so, Mick earns the respect of the town and, in particular, teenaged Rocky, who develops her own artistic talents under Mick's guidance. This thought-provoking novel explores the power of art to evoke emotion.
We Are The People Our Parents Warned us against. by, Nicholoas Von Hoffman.A close up of the whole Hippy scene. "This book brings you right to where its at-pushing, scoring, tripping, group sex, grass, acid, speed, and smack. It is a a psychedelic nightmare with Mardi Gras characters-White Rabbit, Chocalate George, The Beast, Black Preacher, Teddybear-against a landscape of madness." From the histrionic back cover! An excellent chronicle of the Haight Ashbury scene of the late 60's.
The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson.One young girls search for her mother and ultimately for herself. Touching without being sickly sweet. Gilly is a well realized character. She longs for love and and real family at the same time she manages to regect and push away anyone who could offer her what she desires.
The Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson. This is absolutely one of my favorite books, and never fails to bring me to tears. A heartbreakingly realistic tale of one boys struggle to gain acceptance. Jesse is jammed in the middle of a family of all women, even the one rooster died, encumbered with a distant father, and a penchant for art that leaves him alone and friendless in a rural Virginia town. Jesse decides to become the fastest runner in the Fourth grade in an attempt to become popular. Then he meets Leslie Burke, who on the first day of school dashes his runners hopes. Once Jesse learns to deal with his humiliation he and Leslie become best friends. The lessons that Jesse and Leslie teach one another will not soon be forgotten and are valuable for adults as well as children.
The Door into Summer, by Robert A. Heinlein.A young and promising engineer is tricked into taking the "Long Sleep". But when he awakes a plan for revenge is formed. The engineer is much like most of Heinlein's characters, a "Rugged Individualist", but he does have an endearing attachment to his cat and to his business partners young daughter. "But I did look at her. Knobby knees, stringy, shooting up fast, not yet filled out, she was not as pretty as she had been as a baby girl. The shorts and T-shirt she was wearing, combined with peeling sunburn, scratches, bruises, and an understandable amount of dirt, did not add up to feminine glamour. She was a matchstick sketch of the woman she would become, her coltish gawkishness relieved only by her enormous solemn eyes and the pixie beauty of her thin smudged features. She looked adorable."
Harriet the Spy, by Louis Fitzhugh. Harriet wants to be a writer, so she becomes a "spy". She wants to see everything, know everything, and write it all down in her notebook. But eventually Harriet's friends find her notebook and all of her private thoughts become public. Soon all of her friends turn against her and she must make some hard decisions about being a "spy" and about honesty.
Random Acts Of Senseless Violence. by Jack Womack. Told through the jourmal of a 12 yr.old. "Lola Hart begins her record on the eve of her twelfth birthday. She chronicles a comfortable life with family in a Park Avenue apartment, and with friends at a nearby private school. Amid surrounding urban and national climates of escalating violence and social decay."
Belinda, by Anne Rice."An erotic and controversial tale of seduction and obsession from the best-selling author of Exit to Eden. Belinda is the ultimate fantasy. A golden-haired object of desire, fresh and uninhibited. But to Jeremy Walker, a handsome and famous 44-year old illustrator of children's books, Belinda is a forbidden passion, both beguiling and bewitching."
Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice. A dark tale of Louis, who in a fit of despair longs to die, and his transformation into the "undead", and his relationship with his fellow vampires. There is Lestat, the manipulative and secretive vampire who made Louis into a vampire, and Claudia, a several hundred year old vampire trapped in the body of a child, she is both Louis' "child" and his dearest companion.
The Summer Of Love, by Lisa Mason.Fourteen year old "Starbright" travels to San Francisco, and experiences a "Summer Of Love". Captures the sights, sounds, and feelings of the height of The Haight Ashbury and the hippy movement, without soft peddling, or over romanticizing them. The plot revolves around Starbright who may or may not be the "Axis" and is the focus of a mysterious mission from the future. Chiron Cat's Eye In Draco is the researcher who must find the Axis and protect her as not only his personal now depends on her survival but the existence of the entire universe as well.
Nude Men, by Amanda Filipachi.Jeremy Acidopholous is a mild mannered, quirky, yet boring individual leading a boring life. That is until he is approached by a beautiful woman who wishes to paint his portrait. Jeremy soon falls for the woman, but it is the attentions of the womans 11 yr. old daughter that Jeremy ultimately attracts, much to his consternation!
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume.Margaret is 11 years old, and can't wait to grow up. Told from the perspective of Margaret's prayers, and personal thoughts, this is an intimate tale of her longing to "fill out her bra" and to just fit in.
I who have never known men, by Jacqueline Harpman. The main character is the only child in a group of 40 women inexplicably imprisoned underground after some catastrophe that none can remember. One day as the guards are bringing them food, a siren goes off, and the guards flee, leaving the cage door open.
The Diamond Age, Or a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, by Neal Stephenson. A cyberpunk thriller set in a Neo-Victorian future. Nell is a poor child, whose father is absent, and her mother is a drug addict. Nell's brother is a member of a street gang. One day he steals a mysterious book from an upper class "gentleman". When he gives the book to Nell the book having been previously programmed to immediately bond itself to the first young female it encounters starts to tell Nell a story. The story soon becomes more and more personal, and interactive. As Nell uses the book more and more the story it tells becomes more and more like her own. The book teaches Nell how to protect herself as well as how to read. As Nell grows the Book becomes her companion, her friend, and enables her to climb the social ladder of the Neo-victorians, and to ultimately become her own person.
Firestarter, by Stephen King. A young girl cursed with a power she does not understand, must run from those people who would exploit this power.
Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card.The earth has been attacked twice by an alien race, the "Buggers", and those in charge decide that their best hope for beating this menace is to train children in the art of warfare.
Girl In Landscape, by Joseph Lethem Science-fiction writers attempting coming-of-age stories have seldom risked showing the stew of loneliness, anger, and angst that really characterizes adolescence. Jonathan Lethem, on the other hand, avoids the plucky sidekick syndrome and instead gives us breathtakingly realistic Pella Marsh, a girl at that awful and wonderful crux in her life just before people start calling her "woman." Her broken family has just moved to a newly settled planet, with strange and passive natives and the decaying remnants of a great civilization. Something in the alien environment soon enables Pella to telepathically travel, hidden in the bodies of inconspicuous "household deer," into the homes of her fellow settlers. She inevitably discovers the seamy side of humanity--loss of innocence eloquently portrayed.
Hula, by Lisa Shea. For two pre-adolescent sisters isolated by their parents' neglect and driven to create their own secret garden of the imagination, their backyard is their universe. But adolescent fantasies and terror come together when their semi-innocent games are encroached upon by the real world.
Cherished Children's Literature.
L. Frank Baum
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Donald I. Sobol. (Encyclopedia Brown)
Further Reading Concerning Childrens
Inventing Wonderland : The Lives and Fantasies of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, J.M. Barrie, Kenneth Grahame and A.A. Milne by Jackie Wullschlager
Child-Loving : The Erotic Child and Victorian Literature by James R. Kincaid The question "What is a child?" is at the heart of the world the Victorians made. In Child-Loving, James Kincaid writes a fresh chapter in the history of the Victorian era. Dealing with one of the most intimate and troubling notions of the modern period - how the Victorians (and we, their descendants) - imagine children within the continuum of human sexuality, Kincaid's work compels us to consider just how we love the children we love.
Yahoo's Directory of Children's Authors.
Children's Literature Web Guide.
Childrens Literature: A Guide to the Criticism An online book.
Classics for Young People Children's Literature online. Now you can read some children's classics online!
Lycos Community Guide Science Fiction Writers.
Northwest Science Fiction Resources.
LitSpace Paperless Science Fiction Book Database.
Yahoo's Guide to Science Fiction Authors.
Black Star Press Guide To Online Books.
BANNED BOOKS ON-LINE "Books that have been the objects of censorship or censorship attempts."
Redhouse Books Their description,"We sell out-of-print books on subjects like social movements of the 1960s, the Beat Generation, and first editions by modern authors, great and forgotten.
Amazon.com One of the best online bookstores.
Hippypunk's home page.