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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Childhood Reading Memories: Middle Grade Authors and their Inspirations

Today I'd like to spotlight Claire Legrand's blog. Claire is the author of The Cavendish Home for Boys & Girls (due out August 28, 2012), and other forthcoming titles. This summer, she'll be doing a series called Middle Grade Memories with authors, agents, librarians, and editors each Monday and Wednesday. Her guests will talk about their favorite childhood books, and the impact those stories have had on their own writing careers.


Here are the three I've read so far:


Author Marissa Burt (Storybound) talks about Where the Red Fern Grows


Author Adam Troy-Castro (Gustav Gloom and the People Taker) talks about Doctor Dolittle


Author Sarvenaz Tash (The Mapmaker and the Ghost) talks about The Witches


As for my own middle grade writing, I have countless influences. I think that I look back on different books with each project. While one manuscript might be more inspired by the works of Roald Dahl, another might take family inspiration from childhood favorites All of a Kind Family, Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, and Hans Brinker (or The Silver Skates).


My current middle grade work-in-progress features a tomboy, making me think back on the following favorites of my youth:




What are some of your favorite books from childhood?


24 comments:

  1. I loved the Judy Blume books. Are you there God, It's me Margaret was one of my faves. :-) Hope you had an awesome weekend!

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    1. Judy Blume is the best~ and she's great to follow on Twitter!

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  2. I too loved Katie John, but the ones I really loved were the OZ books. I still remember shivering with the descriptions of some of those scary characters. I think the stories have been a little changed for the movies, to make things less alarming, but those books are magical! Thanks for telling about this talking & writing-sounds so interesting.

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    1. Yay for a fellow Katie John lover! I can't believe it, but I still haven't read the OZ books...

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  3. Nice post, Jess! Thanks for telling me about Claire Legrand's blog. I've added it to my list of MG blogs.

    I read all kinds of books as a kid, but Nancy Drew mysteries were my favorites. They didn't influence my writing, though. I don't write mysteries. Go figure. Not sure where my inspiration to write MG books came from.

    Oh, and I tagged you on my blog with 11 Questions. You're it! http://dutchhillnews.blogspot.com/2012/05/11-questions.html

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    1. Thanks, Annie! I remember having a stack of Nancy Drew mysteries at home, but they were more for my older sister. I think I was more into Boxcar Children at the time :)

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  4. I love Claire's blog and her adventure sounds great!!! My fave middle grades = Are You There God, Its Me Margaret, All of a Kind Family (<3!!!), Caddie Woodlawn and Nancy Drew. Oh, also the Boxcar Children were a favorite of mine too. Funny, I don't write mystery but I suuure loved it and used to play Sherlock Holmes as a kid. lol

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    1. I LOVED Boxcar Children. There was something strangely appealing about living out of a boxcar and trying to cook food over a fire :)

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  5. The ones you mentioned bring back such memories. Caddie Woodlawn and All-Of-A Kind Family were two that I loved in particular. My favorites were probably Little Women and Anne of Green Gables. Wonderful!

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    1. Oh, those last two are among my favorites as well! I feel bad that I never really delved into sci-fi or fantasy much during my youth (with the exception of Dahl's fantastical tales). All of my favorites took place in the historical past.

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  6. I'd forgotten about Caddie! SO glad I stopped by today! My favs from childhood are definitely series like the Baby-Sitters Club, Little House, Nancy Drew, and all the Anne of Green Gables books. For me, it was all about the MC. If I liked her, I could follow her through every book!

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    1. I loved the Babysitter's Club books, too! I remember thinking how I would never be daring enough to dress like Claudia or be cool like Stacy. I was more of a Kristy kind of girl :)

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  7. I was really into mysteries in middle school and read all of the Nancy Drew books and when there were no more, I resorted to all the Hardy Boys books even though I didn't feel like as a girl I should read them :) I read them anyway because I was desperate. Hee Hee.

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    1. Of course you can read the Hardy Boys books! That's funny, though~ I bet a lot of girls felt that way :)

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  8. Boxcar Children all the way :)

    And Little House on the Prairie. And Chronicles of Narnia :)

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    1. Oh, Little House of the Prairie! Loved those books. I seriously wanted to be a pioneer child when I was little~ we had a whole section on pioneer life in 3rd grade, and I was very into it. I wanted to churn butter like crazy. That stuff fascinated me :)

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  9. You're back!!!! And I missed a bunch of posts, too!

    The MapMaker and the Ghost??? (I am map geek - must check that one out).

    I have a whole "shelf" on Goodreads for my childhood favorites... Blueberry Sal, Bambi, Big Red, anything by Madeleine L'Engle, the Black Stallion series...

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    1. Blueberry Sal? Haven't heard of it, but I love that title :) Heading to Amazon to check it out!

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  10. Oh nothing like going back to those childhood books.

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