Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Look at Juvenile Fiction Writer Ann Rinaldi

Sorry for the lapse in posts. First we went to visit my parents, during which time I had imagined I'd have lots of time to finish reading the several books I have started on my Kindle. NOPE. Then when we returned, I misplaced my Motherhood book, and then got sick, during which time I have been watching a lot of Netflix! But I found the missing book, so should be getting the next section posted soon. During the midst of this, I actually have been able to read a little light fiction, so wanted to take a few moments to discuss my favorite author.

My favorite fiction author is Ann Rinaldi, who is actually a juvenile historical fiction writer. She published her first novel in 1980 and the latest came out a few years ago. I was happy to discover on her website that I have NOT read all her books yet!

I discovered Ann's writings while doing a research project on juvenile literature in college in my Children's Lit class. My project discussed books geared at teens, which ended up being an area even my professor did not have a lot of experience with. I do not remember much about the project, except that my professor loved it and I discovered Ann's books!

My favorite fiction genre is historical fiction anyway. I like her books because they are easy reads (200-300 pages) and very tasteful. While she examines complex historical ideals and traditions, she remains tasteful and age-appropriate in her choice of words for "mature" matters. For example in a recent read The Redheaded Princess (2008) about the life of Queen Elizabeth I, the title character was the object of advances from her step-father, who was interested in getting rid of wife #1 (who used to be married to her father, the King) to marry her to get at the throne, BUT it was all tastefully written and not at all graphic or inappropriate. That's what I love most about her writing. She tells it like it was, but in an age-appropriate way. (Remember, this is juvenile fiction).  She also does a great job meshing the facts with fiction, and is clear at the end of each book to state what was fact and where she got that information. And she always leaves things hanging, which makes me wish for a sequel to every book I read, but that's just her style.