When I was a young reader, but getting older, I had little desire to leave the warmth and safety of the children's room, and move on to the Young Adult section (this was the Arlington, VA, Central Library in the 1970s/80s, btw). The YA section had many fewer books and it was open on three sides--not pleasant (poor teenagers never seem to get sheltered nook-like areas in libraries, I guess for fear of what they would get up to, but this could be a reason why teen library use drops off?). When I did try books from the YA section, they didn't seem my cup of tea--not escapist enough (the only one I remember specifically was Cobbler's Dream, by Monica Dickens, about a blind horse and some unhappy teenagers). So I turned to fantasy.

To this day, it is fantasy books that I expect the most from (which makes it all the more pleasant when a down-to-earth book, like The Wednesday Wars, knocks my socks off). And it is only for fantasy books by authors that I love and trust that I will shell out my own real money on release day (although I gaily spend Friends of the Library money hither and yon).

The point of this is that I've just seen the cover of Chalice, by Robin McKinley, coming on the 18th of September (happy sigh:)

And if you weren't reading Robin McKinley's blog last fall, here is a link to a great post in which she describes its genesis in depth.

I am also looking forward to The House of Many Ways, by Diana Wynne Jones (10 June) and The Bell at Sealey Head, by Patricia McKillip (2 Sept). So comforting.

But there is no new Ricky Ricotta book (Dav Pilkey) coming out. This is something else I would go out and buy on the release day, because it would make my son blissfully happy. Judging by the number of people doing google searches to find out about it, my son is not alone, and if anyone knows anything about what has happened or is going to happen, let us know. Apparently there is going to be a new Captain Underpants book this year, but that is nothing to me....


  1. We probably crossed paths in the library, Charlotte! I take my own kids to Central now: they recently remodeled the children's section, but I don't know where the YA is--I'll have to look.

    I do remember that Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown was the first hardcover book I bought with my own money. I still have it, too--it remains one of my favorite Newbery winners. Now I'm going to check out Chalice. Thanks!

  2. Hi Anamaria,

    The YA is next to the Children's Section now, so perhaps the transition is easier for kids today...

    I take my kids to Central too, when we come down to see my parents--perhaps our paths will cross again!


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