Being an "author dad" at my son's school (my youngest son's -- my oldest is in high school, and parents don't seem to figure into the equation quite as much), I occasionally get asked about books for young, midgrade or YA readers, are there any titles I could recommend, especially when said reader is done with X title, or Y series?, etc.
Occasionally, I am not even stumped when I get asked this.
Recently, I was asked to write up a brief "thumbnail guide" of overlooked titles for a school booklet that would be chockablock with similar handy/useful advice on other subjects, given out as part of a school fundraiser. Here, then, is a rewrite of that recent page-long guide, which required to me to focus on five titles, only. Since one of those titles was the reviewed-last-month "The Year of the Bomb," that leaves a quartet for us. So straight from the pages of the "parent's guide" and program, to you, the remaining foursome of oft-overlooked titles:
4) "The Great God Pan" by Donna Jo Napoli. Perhaps the "oldest" book on this list, in terms of intended readership, Napoli takes two unfinished Greek legends -- that of the nature god Pan (rumored to be the only one among the pantheon whose death was noted by humans), and the very mortal princess Iphigenia, slated to be sacrificed by her father, so he can get his war on. The legends have various twists on whether her father, Agamemnon, was ultimately successful. Here, Napoli provides one more. Full of yearning, and a broken heart or two, it's a great next step after your reader has finished all the "Percy Jackson" books. And maybe experienced his, or her, first crush.
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