Sunday, May 1, 2011

Meet the Faculty

Before we dive into the meaty goodness of the workshop, I wanted to introduce you to our faculty, authors Laura Ruby and Anne Ursu. 

Laura (left) and Anne (right). 

Here’s what the Highlights website has to say about Laura:
 Laura is the author of the children's mystery Lily’s Ghosts, the children’s fantasy The Wall and the Wing, and a sequel, The Chaos King. She also writes contemporary fiction for older teens, and her debut young-adult novel, Good Girls, was a Book Sense Pick for fall 2006 and an ALA Quick Pick for 2007.

I read four of her books:

The Wall and the Wing about a girl named Gurl who has invisibility powers while everyone around her can fly.  Naturally, her irregular talent causes some problems…

The Chaos King, sequel to The Wall and the Wing where Gurl and her best-bud Bug must stop the title character from abusing the spell of reanimation.  (There’s a giant friendly octopus too!  In case you were wondering, I love friendly octopi!)

Lily’s Ghosts about a girl who must solve the mystery of her dead uncle’s ghost who is haunting their new house.  (A little scary, but there are several funny ghosts, too, so I didn’t get nightmares.)

Bad Apple where a high schooler is falsely accused of having “relations” with her art teacher.  (Deep stuff, yet remarkably funny too.)

Here’s what the Highlights website has to say about Anne:
Anne is the author of The Shadow Thieves, The Siren Song, and The Immortal Fire, all fantasies for young readers. She has also written two books for adults.  Her books have been finalists for Borders Original Voices Award, selected for Barnes and Noble's Discover Great New Writers program, and for the New York Public Library’s Best Books for the Teen Age. She teaches at Hamline University’s Low Residency MFA in Writing for Children.

I read four of her books, too:

The Shadow Thieves, first in her Cronus Chronicles trilogy.  (They are not at all like the Percy Jackson series—which I also enjoy.  No demi-gods here, just normal kids having action-packed, funny adventures at the whim of the Greek Gods.)  Main characters Charlotte and Zee must stop evil Philonecron from stealing children’s shadows and using them to reanimate his army of souls from Hades.  (And he is HILARIOUS!  Philonecron might be one of my favorite villains of all time.)

The Siren Song, second in the trilogy.  Charlotte and Zee must stop Poseidon from destroying a cruise ship (which will both avenge and amuse him.)   Philonecron strikes again and this time he sets his sights higher than taking over Hades.

The Immortal Fire, third in the trilogy.  Charlotte and Zee must find Prometheus’ fire in order to bargain with Zeus and convince him not to wipe out humanity.  Philonocron aims to take over the universe, but ends up managing something a little smaller.

Spilling Clarence, an adult book about a meltdown at a pharmaceuticals company which releases a chemical into the air, affecting the memories of all the town residents.  People are forced to face all of their deepest, darkest memories.  (Very poignant but with a dash of wit, too.)

So there you go!  I highly recommend reading all of the above books.  Anne’s and Laura’s writing styles are both superb and I can’t wait for them to divulge their trade secrets!             

No comments:

Post a Comment