LoriScot Goodson Smith & Jim Blasingame

The Death of : Why the Best YA Often Defies Classification

few years ago, I received a phone call from a adding a list called genre-busters, which do not desperate sixth grade reading teacher. “Help!” easily fit into a single category. The more I think about Ashe cried, “I have a literary mutiny on my my YA favorite titles of the past few years, the more hands. I need your help now!!” I immediately raced bewildered I become. Zusak’s The Book Thief— upstairs. or ? Anderson’s The Astonish- Our sixth graders read Louis Sachar’s Holes as a ing Life of Octavian Nothing—historical fiction or required . The teacher uses Holes as part of her fiction? Rosoff’s ?—realistic unit on fantasy. In a time where many middle fiction or ? Shusterman’s The Schwa schoolers are steeped in Harry Potter and Paolini, Was Here—realistic fiction or fantasy? I have come to Holes just did not seem to fit into that the same the realization that genre might be dead, that many of category of fantasy. recently published YA novels no longer fit into the “Mr. Smith,” they argued, “It can’t be fantasy. It’s predictable categories we typically designate for too real.” books. Is it time to despair? I think not. Rather, let us What followed was a long discussion about the celebrate the innovative fashion in which today’s YA different types of fantasy. We debated over the effects authors are bending the traditional definitions of of rattlesnake nail polish, the existence of yellow genre. An exploration of early genre benders may spotted lizards, the role of coincidence, Sachar’s use of provide some illumination, as well as an investigation the of Kissin’ Kate, the folktale qualities of of how many of today’s best YA novels are further Madame Zeroni’s curse, and the for treasure. We blurring the lines between . even delved into the archetype of Young Adult literature has a the “” as we analyzed Stanley’s long tradition of authors whose . Most students remained Is it time to despair? I works defy genre classifications. unconvinced of the classification of Francesca Lia Block represents a Holes as a work of fantasy. think not. Rather, let us genre unto herself with the frac- Sixth graders are not the only celebrate the innovative tured tales that surround her ones who struggle with the stan- quirky Weetzie Bat. dard conventions of genre. As I fashion in which today’s Patrice Kindl’s Owl in Love mixes revise my genre lists each year for , fantasy, humor, and modern my graduate level Young Adult YA authors are bending realism in her critically acclaimed Literature class, I find myself the traditional definitions novel. With innovative stories like shifting books from fantasy to The Mind’s Eye, Whirligig, and historical fiction and realistic fiction of genre. Seek, Paul Fleischman has long to fantasy. I have even considered challenged the conventions of style,



g43_50_TAR_Fall07 43 10/2/07, 2:59 PM format, and genre. Elements of the run returned to that successful formula with his newest through the mysteries and stories of Robert novel Clay. In the best works of magical realism, one Cormier, , Joan Lowery Nixon, and—more cannot easily determine where reality ends and recently—Nancy Werlin and Kevin Brooks. fantasy begins. Popular chick-lit titles like Sarah For the genre enthusiast, historical novels offer a Weeks’ So B. It, Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries, and variety of complex issues. The kingdom-and-the-castle Ann Brashares’ The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants story found in works like Megan Whelan Turner’s The can hardly be considered completely “realistic.” In So Thief, Gerald Morris’ The Squire Tales, and Kevin B. It, Heidi has developed a special touch with the slot Crossley-Holland’s The Seeing Stone blend medieval machines; she always wins. Only after she has settings with magic and completed her quest to uncover the secrets of her past legend. Donna Jo Napoli’s does her luck return to normal. The quality Since the publication of retold fairy tales (Beast, of Mia’s rise from social outcast to crown princess is a Bound, Breath) borrow far cry from probable. The same can be for said for his critically acclaimed much from traditional those magical jeans in the Sisterhood series. Magical literature but abound with realism also plays a major role in numerous novels for Skellig and Kit’s Wilder- rich historical details. tweens. From Hiaasen’s Hoot to Hannigan’s Ida B., ness, has Napoli’s novels are clearly from many of the novels of Sharon Creech to the fantasy titles; they also allegorical works of Jerry Spinelli, elements of the blurred the lines between have much to offer to add a sense of mystery and wonderment to readers of historical many novels categorized as middle grade fiction. The fantasy and reality in a fiction. Time-slip and time- mixture of fantasy (the call of the sea, the seemingly genre that is often called travel novels present a supernatural powers of Mullet Fingers and Maniac similar dilemma—histori- Magee, the talking trees, anthropomorphic pigeons magical realism. cal fiction or fantasy/ and owls) with realistic stories appeals greatly to science fiction? Jane readers on the verge of adolescence. Yolen’s The Devil’s Numerous librarians and teachers have encoun- Arithmetic, Susan Cooper’s The King of Shadows, tered the adolescent reader who devours one fantasy Susan Price’s The Sterkarm Handshake, and Edward novel after the next but refuses to touch science Bloor’s Calling are filled with yet are fiction. On the other hand, there is the passionate sci- based on the premise of traveling back in time. One fi reader who dismisses every fantasy with the would be remiss to classify ’s trilogy statement “I don’t really like those types of books.” about Sally Lockhart and Eleanor Updale’s Mont- Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time provides one morency series as simple Victorian mysteries. One blueprint for a genre now labeled as . cannot deny the historical qualities found in these Following in L’Engle’s innovative footsteps are authors novels. What about , those historical like Philip Pullman, Kenneth Oppel, and Joshua novels that ask the difficult question of what if? In The Mowll. In his masterfully plotted novels Airborn and Year of the Hangman, Gary Blackwood proposes the Skybreaker, Oppel begins with the premise of what if dilemma of what if the British had won the Revolu- the airplane had not been invented. The adventures tionary War. Finally, in which genre does one place that follow take readers into a world of airships, sky Aiden Chambers’ Postcards from No Man’s Land? pirates, flying felines, bat-copters, intricate diagrams, Chambers masterfully intertwines two —one and high altitude . Mowll’s Operation Red set in the 1990s and the other set during WWII—into Jericho and Operation Typhoon Shore are frequently his award-winning novel. Historical fiction or modern classified as adventure . However, the detailed realistic? Neither or both? diagrams will indubitably please even the most Since the publication of his critically acclaimed devoted science fiction reader. Acclaimed science Skellig and Kit’s Wilderness, David Almond has writers John and Mary Gribbin tackle the difficult blurred the lines between fantasy and reality in a concepts of string theory, the space-time continuum, genre that is often called magical realism. He has and quantum physics in The Science of Philip



g43_50_TAR_Fall07 44 10/2/07, 2:59 PM Pullman’s His Dark Materials. After reading the with an entertaining dose of and pixies to help Gribbins’ book, teens (and adults) will begin to move the along. Set during the Civil War appreciate the theoretical physics that provides part of between the and the Royalists, Nell is the foundation of Pullman’s exceptional trilogy. Then accused by the minister’s unwed pregnant daughter of there is the difficult question of Anthony Horowitz’s being a witch, an agent of the Devil. Hysteria reigns as Alex Rider series. These wildly popular novels touch Nell’s grandmother is dunked, and Nell finds herself many genres—spy novel, adventure story, mystery, condemned to hang. As the novel alternates between and—because of the abundance of high tech gadgets two voices and two settings, the reader comes to Alex employs in times of peril—science fiction. understand the conflicts that led to the Salem Witch Having suggested that the lines between genres Trials and the deaths of innocent women who were have been blurred in Young Adult literature, I will now healers and midwives. I, Coriander is much closer to look more closely at three distinct categories and the traditional fantasy than Witch Child and The Minister’s recently published novels which exemplify them: (1) Daughter. Nonetheless, London at the time of Oliver as it moves away from the traditional Cromwell springs to life in this award-winning story. medieval to different historical periods; (2) Coriander is the only historical fantasy with magical realism and particu- daughter of a successful larly the trend of narrators and characters “from merchant and a fairy- . . . in today’s world of YA beyond the grave;” and finally (3), science fantasy. I princess whom the locals will conclude with an analysis of why, in today’s consider a witch. When literature, some novels world of YA literature, some novels make any discus- her mother dies and her sion of genre irrelevant and how this “death of genre” father’s finances fall into make any discussion of liberates teen readers from the stereotypes associated ruin because of the Civil genre irrelevant and how with . War, Coriander finds herself at odds with her this “death of genre” History and Fantasy evil step-mother and a Puritan minister. After her liberates teen readers The provide the perfect opportunity father flees persecution from the stereotypes to blend history with fantasy. After all, witches were from the Roundheads, burned at the stake and medieval legend has knights Coriander’s life in London associated with genre hunting and questing for treasure. From this rapidly spirals downward combination of the historical and the fantastic comes until she is able to cross fiction. that sub-genre known as the kingdom-and-the-castle. over into Fairyland where While Gerald Morris, Tamora Pierce, and Shannon still more peril awaits in Hale are still writing in this tradition, many authors the form of the wicked Fairy Queen. Eventually, are exploring different periods of history with fascinat- characters from the two worlds collide in a suspense- ing results. Celia Rees, Julie Hearn, and Sally Gardner ful conclusion. have written three haunting historical novels with During the past few years, Victorian England has Witch Child, The Minister’s Daughter, and I, Coriander. become the setting for several noteworthy historical Rees’ Witch Child differs from traditional Witch Trial novels. As with the novels set during the 17th century, novels in that her protagonist—fourteen year-old Mary these Victorian novels obscure the lines between Newbury—is actually a witch, not merely a young girl history and fantasy. ’s gothic novels A Great accused of being one. Mary flees England after her and Terrible Beauty and Rebel plunge readers grandmother is executed for practicing and into the social conventions of Victorian England. Of comes to America where she again falls under suspi- particular interest are the arranged marriages of the cion for her pagan ways. Rees writes Witch Child as if young ladies at the Spence Academy. Bray explores the it is Mary’s own journal, thereby producing a fiction- limited roles of women during this time of history. She as-fact effect on the reader. Hearn’s The Minister’s also skillfully adds a haunted house, mysterious Daughter expertly intertwines two narratives into one, gypsies, visions of and trips into another realm, a



g43_50_TAR_Fall07 45 10/2/07, 2:59 PM gorgon, and an abundance of magic. Eleanor Updale’s process which literally saves her life. Nothing fantastic Montmorency series also portrays Victorian . so far, correct? I have deliberately failed to mention More mystery than fantasy, these fast-paced novels the novel’s narrator, none other than Death. The introduce readers to a career criminal named Mont- brilliance of The Book Thief comes not only from morency. After a particularly horrific fall, the thief is Zusak’s adept and his delicate “reconstructed” through a variety of experimental balancing of themes but also from the thoughtful surgeries. After his recovery, he assumes two identi- comments Death interjects throughout the narrative. ties—the gentleman Montmorency and Scarper, a Death is no in this story. Rather, he por- lowly thief with a special knowledge of London’s new trays a sympathetic character physically and emotion- sewer system. As the series progresses, Montmorency ally exhausted by man’s inhumanity toward man. His becomes less of a thief and more of an amateur observations about the tragic circumstances of the detective. While the books have no significant adoles- human condition and the horrors of war and the cent characters, they appeal to teen readers with their Holocaust are profound but are they the stuff of well-constructed plots, strong characters, and fascinat- historical fiction? ing setting. If Dickens, Conan Doyle, and Poe were to From the title of The Astonishing Life of Octavian collaborate on a project, the outcome might not be too Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party far removed from Updale’s successful series. Mystery? alone, the reader already knows that he/she is about Historical fiction? Fantasy? A little of all three? to encounter a book like none other. Anderson does Two of 2006’s most acclaimed novels could be not disappoint in this National Book Award winner. simply placed into the category of historical fiction. Octavian and his mother, an African princess, live on However, there is no simplicity in either Markus the estate of the Novanglian College of Lucidity with a Zusak’s The Book Thief or M.T. Anderson’s The group of radical philosophers. The young boy receives Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing. In Zusak’s a classical education. As he grows older, Octavian multilayered novel, a young German girl named Liesel comes to understand that his lessons are part of an rebuilds life with a foster family before and during experiment to determine the intellectual capabilities of World War II. After the arrest of her father and the Africans. He also realizes that he and his mother are death of her younger brother, she is abandoned by her not free; they are slaves in during the turbulent mother at the home of the Hubermanns. Life on times before the Revolution. After a physical alterca- Himmel Street is certainly not heavenly. In this tion with the College’s benefactor, the boy and his working-class suburb, mother are stripped and beaten. When the financial Liesel finds herself sur- woes befall the college, Octavian’s fortunes take a The Astonishing Life of rounded by angry neigh- further turn for the worse. Like Liesel, he possesses a bors intoxicated by the rise great love of reading, especially the . His new Octavian Nothing is a of Nazism, vicious bullies, master forbids him from reading his favorites and stunning historical novel and a spiteful foster forces him to translate dull and difficult passages from mother. She finds solace meaningless texts. His mother dies after a failed of a history that might first with her accordion experiment with small pox inoculation, and Octavian playing foster father, her runs away. He is eventually captured, imprisoned in a never have been. best friend Rudy and their wooden mask, and brought back to the College. The neighborhood games of first book ends with the protagonist’s fate unknown. soccer, and Max, a Jewish refugee whom her family As with The Book Thief, this novel is as much about hides in the basement. Ultimately, her love for style as it is about narrative. Anderson has written the books—the first picked up beside her brother’s grave, story in a language much like the American English another taken from a bonfire, others stolen from the used at the time of the Revolution. That language mayor’s wife—transforms the young Liesel. By helps to transport the reader back in time but did that learning to read, she learns to live. As she reads to “time” really exist? Could there have been a others, she transforms their lives, too. Inspired by Novanglian College of Lucidity? Were such experi- words and stories, she begins to write her own story, a ments actually conducted on Africans? The Astonish-



g43_50_TAR_Fall07 46 10/2/07, 2:59 PM ing Life of Octavian Nothing is a stunning historical grave. Hautman’s suspenseful conclusion leaves that novel of a history that might never have been. question unanswered for even the most observant of readers. Realism and Fantasy A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb and Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin are farther removed from If the narrator is dead but tells the story from “reality” but still deserve consideration in this cat- beyond the grave, then is the novel realistic fiction or egory. Although Whitcomb’s protagonist Helen has it is fantasy? Perhaps the trend of the dead narrator been dead for over a century, she has been able to started with Alice Sebold’s cross-over bestseller The “live” by attaching herself to a human host. Her most Lovely Bones, but there is little doubt that many YA recent host is a high school English teacher. She authors have used a deceased character to relate their travels unseen and unheard, a mere observer in an stories. On the second page of Gary Soto’s The always shifting world. Afterlife, Chuy is stabbed to death in a restroom. That changes one day Ghost-like, Chuy floats around town checking on his when she notices a boy The might be family and his friends from school; he also spies on staring at her. James, too, his killer. Before he dissipates, he begins to fall in love is a ghost but one who fantasy, but the joy and with the “” of another teenager. Jeremiah’s is but has learned to inhabit the pain felt by the characters one of numerous voices in ’s living body of a human Behind You. Miah witnesses and comments on the whose spirit has died. His are as real as it gets in YA struggles of his friends and family as they try to deal host is Billy, an abused, with his tragic death, but he views them from above drug-addicted teenager. fiction. as his spirit floats over them. Helen learns from James In 2005, Adele Griffin received a National Book and finds a host in the Award nomination for Where I Want to Be. Narrated spiritless Jenny, the troubled only child of fundamen- with two voices in alternating chapters, this novel talist parents. James-Billy and Helen-Jenny fall in love, explores the difficult relationship between two sisters, have sex, and experience together. The ghost Jane and Lily. The reader immediately realizes that story might be fantasy, but the joy and pain felt by the Jane is telling her story “from the other side.” Griffin’s characters are as real as it gets in YA fiction. In novel is a powerful coming-of-age story about a Elsewhere, Zevin depicts the life and death of sixteen- grieving family coping with death and mental illness. old Liz whose life on Earth is cut short by a hit-and- Chris Crutcher also employs a dead narrator in The run accident. When Liz awakens in Elsewhere, she Sledding Hill. Billy dies early in the narrative but longs for her old life—her dreams of the prom, a continues to relate the events as they unfold. When a steady boyfriend, her driver’s license, college. From minister/English teacher launches a crusade against Elsewhere, she jealously observes her family and Crutcher’s novels, the small community becomes friends, wishing she could be with them. Slowly, she embroiled in heated debate over free speech and comes to terms with her new existence and begins to . Crutcher even interjects himself into the let go of her old dreams. Reality or fantasy? Fantasy or story. Dougie, the protagonist in Pete Hautman’s reality? Invisible, is alive for most of the novel but readers The voice from beyond the grave is but one way immediately have questions about his best friend in which YA authors blur the lines between fantasy Andy. An if ever one existed, and reality. Neal Shusterman’s humorous novel The Dougie is a social outcast compulsively obsessed with Schwa Was Here features the character of Calvin his model train set and the bridge he is building for it. Schwa. While he cannot disappear completely, Calvin Andy is a popular football player and a talented actor. is so normal, so run-of-the-mill average that he goes The two talk together each evening from their bed- unnoticed as if he were invisible. He is the ultimate room windows. As Dougie spirals deeper into mental wallflower, someone who simply fades away into illness, one is asked to question whether or not Andy background. Teachers count him absent and ignore his is alive or if he represents another voice from the raised hand during class discussions. Classmates look



g43_50_TAR_Fall07 47 10/2/07, 2:59 PM directly at him and never see him. His best friend has no clue who sends him messages propels the Antsy conducts “invisibility tests” to prove the “Schwa and moves the novel away from the purely realistic Factor.” Calvin’s mission to be noticed often meets toward the magically realistic. The novel’s “deus ex with humorous results. The most hilarious of these machina” conclusion is even more improbable. In a occurs when he uses his savings to rent a billboard less successful novel, the implausibility of the with his photo on it only to discover that the Express- might undermine the author’s intentions. Only way has been closed for repairs and no one will see because he had previously established the premise of his picture. Calvin is also on a quest to discover what magical realism could Zusak have successfully happened to his mother. Did she just dissipate into accomplished the finale of I Am the Messenger. thin air one evening at the grocery store? Or did she merely abandon Calvin? The Schwa Was Here, winner Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, provides that perfect mix of reality and fantasy that provokes Many students will ask me how far back in the younger teens to think about themselves and their past a novel has to be set for it to be considered peers. historical fiction. Few ever ask how far into the Marcus Zusak’s I Am the Messenger provides a does a novel has to be set for it considered science similar but for a much older . At fiction. That is, however, precisely the dilemma one nineteen, Ed Kennedy is going nowhere fast. He drives has with classifying Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now. Her a cab, drinks and plays cards with underachieving Printz-winning novel takes place in England in the not friends, and hangs out so distant future. There are no aliens, space ships, with his dog. Although he robots, medical miracles, or alternative communities. That is, however, precisely is not invisible like Calvin After Daisy leaves New York to visit her aunt and Schwa, life is certainly cousins in the English countryside, she realizes that the dilemma one has with passing him by, and he her relatives share an almost supernatural bond. Soon does not seem to care. His after she arrives, England is attacked by an unknown classifying Meg Rosoff’s “going-nowhere-fast” enemy, and the country is thrown into war. Her aunt How I Live Now. Her existence quickly changes is trapped outside the country, and the children are after he thwarts a bungled left to fend for themselves. As she and her cousin Printz-winning novel takes bank robbery. He then Edmond fall in love, Daisy begins to subconsciously starts to receive mysterious connect with her cousins As the characters adapt the place in England in the playing cards at home, all crisis around them, they themselves seem farther not so distant future. with coded messages. removed from the real world. Indeed, they seem Once he deciphers the transformed by the inhumanity which engulfs them There are no aliens, space code, Ed realizes that he is and their country. After Edmond and Daisy are being asked to help (and in separated, they develop telepathic capabilities; they ships, robots, medical a few cases, even hurt) are able to communicate with each other even though miracles, or alternative total strangers. Some tasks they are miles apart. Isaac and Piper display a psychic are innocent and uncom- link with animals. After the war, Edmond is seen communities. plicated—buying an ice tending an elaborate garden; we are left to wonder if cream for a harried he possesses mystic powers with plants. As with mother. Others are more Stephanie S. Tolan’s Welcome to the Ark and Flight of perilous and challenging—stopping a drunken, the Raven, How I Live Now forces us to question if the abusive husband from raping his wife each and every human psyche is capable of rapid evolution in re- night. Eventually, the cards lead him to his friends and sponse to a catastrophic future. family. As he changes the lives of others, Ed himself In her first novel for younger readers, Jeanette changes. Is he a pawn in an elaborate “practice Winterson also explores the possibilities that might lie random acts of kindness” scheme? A puppet on a ahead in her time-bending adventure story string of a “pay it forward” scheme? The fact that he Tanglewreck. The fabric of Time is literally coming



g43_50_TAR_Fall07 48 10/2/07, 3:00 PM apart at the seams. Time tornadoes are ripping ticated readers,” “mature and complex,” through London, transporting people to and from “groundbreaking,” “thought-provoking,” “rich and different points of history. A young orphan named fresh,” and “advanced” are commonly used. As we Silver may hold the key to saving the world, provided stand on the cusp of a new era in Young Adult that she can find a clock called the Timekeeper and literature, I say move forward and challenge every keep it out of the hands of a malevolent alchemist and reader with fiction so magnificent it makes genre a mysterious sorceress. Fans of Pullman’s His Dark irrelevant. Materials and L’Engle’s Time Quartet will recognize the similarities and relish the differences. References Scot Smith is the librarian/media specialist at Robertsville to quantum mechanics, parallel realities, , Middle School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He also teaches and even Schrodinger’s Cat—sometimes alive, some- courses in children’s and young adult literature for the times dead—are plentiful. Is it science fiction or College of Communication and Information at the fantasy? Like Herbie Brennan’s Faerie Wars and many University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He serves as a member of the selection committee for Tennessee’s Volunteer State of the works of Eoin Colfer, the line between fantasy Book Award (YA division. and science fiction in Tanglewreck is indeed an arbitrary one. Works Cited Almond, David. Clay. New York: Delacorte Press, 2006. Can We Declare Genre Dead? ———. Kit’s Wilderness. New York: Delacorte Press, 2000. ———. Skellig. New York: Delacorte Press, 1999. While numerous outstanding works of YA fiction Anderson, M.T. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor fit nicely into the traditional definitions of genre, many to the Nation, Part I: defy those same conventions. If award-winning titles ———. The Pox Party. Cambridge: Candlewick Press, 2006. like How I Live Now, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Blackwood, Gary. The Year of the Hangman. New York: Dutton Nothing, I, Coriander, and The Schwa Was Here cannot Children’s Books, 2002. Bloor, Edward. London Calling. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. be conveniently placed into standard categories, Brashares, Ann. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. New should we declare the death of genre or merely York: Delacorte Press, 2001. redefine genres to include titles like these? Classifica- Bray, Libba. A Great and Terrible Beauty. New York: Delacorte tion by subgenre is an option but not a very appealing Press, 2003. one. Fiction should not become subject to the rules of ———. Rebel Angels. New York: Delacorte Press, 2005. Brennan, Herbie. The Faerie Wars. New York: Bloomsbury, nomenclature; classification by genre cannot be 2003. reduced to a science. Cabot, Meg. The Princess Diaries. New York: Harper Avon, 2000. If we announce of the death of genre, what are Chambers, Aiden. Postcards from No Man’s Land. New York: the implications for our students? For us as teachers, Dutton Books, 2002. librarians, and educators? For teens, I hope that Cooper, Susan. King of Shadows. New York: Margaret K. liberation, freedom from the , would be one McElderry Books, 1999. Crossley-Holland, Kevin. The Seeing Stone. New York: Arthur A. positive outcome. We have each seen a student (or Levine Books, 2001. adult) who reads one genre and one genre only. “I Crutcher, Chris. The Sledding Hill. New York: Greenwillow Books, would rather die than read a book that isn’t a mys- 2005. tery,” “Do you have any sports fiction?,” and “I am Fleischman, Paul. Mind’s Eye. New York: Henry Holt, 1999. looking for a book with dragons” are the typical ———. Seek. Chicago: Cricket Books, 2001. ———. Whirligig. New York: Henry Holt, 1998. comments I hear every day. I receive similar com- Gardner, Sally. I, Coriander. New York: Dial Books, 2005. ments from graduate students, some of whom fear Gribbin, John and Mary. The Science of Philip Pullman’s His reading outside their comfort zone. By denouncing Dark Materials. New York: Knopf, 2005. genre, we may perhaps begin to expand the horizons Griffin, Adele. Where I Want to Be. New York: G.P. Putnam’s of our adolescents. Sons, 2005. Skim the reviews of The Book Thief, I Am the Hannigan, Katherine. Ida B: . . . and her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World. New York: Messenger, Where I Want to Be, and other genre- Greenwillow Books, 2004. bending novels and note that phrases like “for sophis-



g43_50_TAR_Fall07 49 10/2/07, 3:00 PM Hautman, Pete. Invisible. New York: Simon & Schuster Books, Sachar, Louis. Holes. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. 2005. Sebold, Alice. The Lovely Bones: A Novel. Boston: Little, Brown, Hearn, Julie. The Minister’s Daughter. New York: Atheneum, 2002. 2005. Shusterman, Neal. The Schwa Was Here. New York: Dutton Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. Children’s Books, 2004. Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker. New York: Philomel Books, Soto, Gary. The Afterlife. Orlando: Harcourt, 2003. 2001. Tolan, Stephanie S. Welcome to the Ark. New York: Morrow Kindl, Patrice. Owl in Love. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. Junior Books, 1996. L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time. New York: Farrar, Straus, ———. Flight of the Raven. New York: HarperCollins, 2001. and Giroux, 1962 Turner, Megan Whaley. The Thief. New York: Greenwillow Books, Morris, Gerald. The Squire’s Tale. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996. 1998. Updale, Eleanor. Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? New Mowll, Joshua. Operation Red Jericho. Cambridge: Candlewick York: Orchard Books, 2004. Press, 2005. Weeks, Sarah. So B. It. New York: Laura Geringer Books, 2004. ———. Operation Typhoon Shore. Cambridge: Candlewick Press, Whitcomb, Laura. A Certain Slant of Light. Boston: Graphia, 2006. 2005. Napoli, Donna Jo. Beast. New York: Atheneum Books, 2000. Winterson, Jeanette. Tanglewreck. New York : Bloomsbury ———. Bound. New York: Atheneum Books, 2004. Children’s Books, 2006. ———. Breath. New York: Atheneum Books, 2003. Woodson, Jacqueline. Behind You. New York : G.P. Putnam’s Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn. Toronto: HarperCollins, 2004. Sons, 2004. ———. Skybreaker. Toronto : HarperCollins, 2005. Yolen, Jane. The Devil’s Arithmetic. New York: Viking Kestrel, Price, Susan. The Sterkarm Handshake. New York: Scholastic, 1988. 1999. Zevin, Gabrielle. Elsewhere. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass. New York : Alfred A. 2005. Knopf, 1996. Zusak, Marcus. I Am the Messenger. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, ———. The Ruby in the Smoke. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985. 2005. Rees, Celia. Witch Child. Cambridge: Candlewick Press, 2001. ———. The Book Thief. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Rosoff, Meg. How I Live Now. New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2004.



g43_50_TAR_Fall07 50 10/2/07, 3:00 PM