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Tag: Patricia C. Wrede

Is This Just Fantasy?: Celebrating The Hub’s Favorite Women In Fantasy Fiction

Just Fantasy women in fantasyMarch is Women’s History Month. Woohoo! In that spirit, I wanted to dedicate this edition of Is This Just Fantasy? to the fabulous women of fantasy fiction and I asked my fellow Hub bloggers to join in the fun.  Here are some of The Hub’s favorite female characters in young adult fantasy fiction.

alannaAlanna of Trebond from Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce (2013 Margaret A. Edwards Award)

“The heroine who comes immediately to my mind (and no doubt others as well!) is Alanna.  So strong, brave, courageous and while in the first novel she must hide her sex and pretend to be a boy, I really loved how ultimately she embraced being a woman as the series evolved.” – Sarah Debraski

Dealing-with-dragons-first-editionPrincess Cimorene from Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede

“After first encountering Cimorene in Dealing with Dragons, I was hooked. She is a princess who is bored with everything that goes with being a princess. She wants nothing to do with the not-very-bright princes she encounters and is so eager for more excitement in her life that she leaves her home to find a dragon to ‘capture’ her – the only acceptable alternative for a princess. Once she finds her dragon, she becomes the dragon’s chef and librarian (a fact I had forgotten until I recently reread this book). With Cimorene, Wrede turns princess stereotypes on their head and creates a funny, compelling, and exciting protagonist.” – Carli Spina 

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Feel Good YA

It seems YA lit is getting a reputation. Past controversies over “darkness” and “sick lit” and constant threats of challanges and censorship make it seem like the only thing YA has going for it is doom, gloom, drama, and adversity. But true YA readers, especially here at The Hub, know this isn’t the case. While most of the attention seems focused on the negative, there are plenty of uplifting and positive books that don’t always deal with the heavier subjects. Sure, we still love the dystopias, zombies, and drama-filled love triangles, but sometimes we need a good story with a happy and satisfying ending. Inspired by a teen reader who came to me recently looking for a book that would “just make me feel good,” here is a list of books that hopefully will make you smile, laugh, and maybe cry — but only happy tears.

Self-Discovery

  • Ten Miles Past NormalTen Miles Past Normal by Frances O’Roark Dowell (2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
    Janie has had enough of her parents’ granola, hippie lifestyle on their small farm and begins high school to find new friends and a new way of looking at the world.
  • Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (2007 Best Books for Young Adults)
    D.J. Schwenk doesn’t get a lot of attention from her father (or anyone else really) until she decides to try out for the football team. Now everybody wants to know who exactly D.J. is — including herself.
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That Was Then, This is Now guest post: Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Dealing-with-dragons-first-editionMarch is Women’s History Month, and in honor of this I asked Sarah Debraski if she would let me use her “That Was Then, This is Now” series to talk about a book that helped make me a feminist. After all, what’s more appropriate for Women’s History Month than a man taking over something that a woman created? Wait, that’s not right.

Anyway, the book is Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede, and it was one of my favorite books as a youngster. I still remembered most of the basic plot: the princess Cimorene is tired of being a princess, so she runs away and deliberately gets herself kidnapped by a dragon, which turns out to be the best thing that could’ve happened to her. She gets into swordfights, foils the plots of sinister wizards, uncovers a conspiracy at the heart of dragon society, and ends up having quite a lot of experiences that just aren’t proper for a princess. It’s a parody of fairy tales and the fantasy genre, but a gentle parody, poking fun at some of the logical flaws in these worlds while still acknowledging the fun you can have in them.

I was delighted to find, on rereading Dealing With Dragons, that it was just as good as I remembered it.

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Reading Horoscope – Virgo

Calm, cool, and collected Virgos: are you ready for the month ahead? Born between August 23rd and September 22nd, Virgos are ruled by the planet Mercury, grounded solidly in the element of earth. Virgos are steadfast, helpful, and precise and sometimes feel weighed down by worries and concerns. I see many days filled with goodwill projects, helping at the local soup kitchen, helping fund your best friend’s Kickstarter, and making sure your little sister is prepared to start middle school. Your caring nature is admired and appreciated, but don’t forget that you can’t solve all the world’s problems alone. It is important to let others help and support you to not feel overwhelmed. Also important is finding time to pick up a few books featuring practical and meticulous Virgos like you.

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Natalie Sterling is a good girl and that’s how she likes it. She works hard at school, at student council, at life. She has clear goals and a clear path getting to those goals. Her senior year is going right on schedule when things get confusing. Natalie decides to take freshman Spencer under her wing to show her the ropes and how to be successful. Spencer, though, would rather have fun, date boys, pull pranks, and push the boundaries of what is considered “proper” behavior for young ladies. Natalie’s own idea of what it means to be “good” are challenged when she begins a secret relationship with a boy who is completely wrong for her and threatens to derail her plans. Assumptions are challenged, relationships are challenged, and Natalie must decide what’s more important, being good or being yourself.

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