Harry Potter 6 and Young Adult Fiction

I saw the obligatory monument of Harry Potter books in Wal*Mart today. I personally haven’t read any of the Potter books so I’m not caught up the the “fever“, but I am interested from the perspective of it being popular young adult fiction. What with so many other avenues of entertainment these days, it’s good to see kids reading.

With regards to Harry Potter, Matthew Cheney, who has nothing against the Potter books as long as they are not labeled the best ever printed, points us to 18 Fantasy Authors to Read Instead of J.K. Rowling and 18 more fantasy authors to read instead of J.K. Rowling. I include those links here for those interested in other young adult fiction.

Speaking of young adult fiction, the 288 page The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens edited by Jane Yolen and Patrick Nielsen Hayden was recently released. SF Site has a write up and so does Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention: The Inter-Galactic Playground blog by Farah Mendlesohn is dedicated to children’s literature and particularly children’s science fiction.

2 thoughts on “Harry Potter 6 and Young Adult Fiction”

  1. Out of the 36 authors listed- 40 if Ed’s update is included- I’m proud to say I have experience with 24. Excellent starting place for anyone just beginning to explore the field.

  2. I’ve read all the Harry Potter books except the one that just shipped. The first couple are grand – great imagination, good characters, and interesting plots. The writing overall isn’t special (ie not Gene Wolf) but who cares – they are fun. Popular doesn’t always equal greatness – but then, so what? Reading can be about escapism and not about high literature.

    It’s after the 3rd one that I feel that Ms Rowling got nervous – rather than grow as an author (by writing something new) she’s decided to keep the fans (and publishers!) happy by writing the same book over again – not once, but twice. Sadly Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix are pretty much rehashes of Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s hard to fault her for that – if the stories had been something other than what those millions of fans had already decided they loved it might have triggered fans to quit the series.

    As an adult reader (and Rowling has always said she wrote the books for adults – at least at first) I’m left wanting a little more – I suspect largely because the characters are getting older and I want to see them grow emotionally through her writing. Maybe Rowling should team up with Judy Bloom or something ;-).

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