Cover of The Hunger Games
No, not authors who are adults but authors who write for adults. I have noticed a trend, as of late, where adult mystery authors (Patterson, Kenyon, Baldacci, etc) have entered the children’s and YA arena.
What’s up with that? I mean, why? Is is something you have always wanted to do or is there better money in children’s/YA lit since Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games?
Most notable, I believe, is James Patterson‘s entrance into YA. Maximum Ride and Witch & Wizard are the two that come to mind. I read most of Maximum Ride and one or two of Witch & Wizard. I could not go on. Do not get me wrong, I have read and own the entire Women’s Murder Club series and have loves reading the Alex Cross series. I think this is where he is at his best writing. Adult (murder) mystery books. Not a big fan of his YA though. It felt as if he worked really hard to sound like a teenager. It read like he tried too hard. It was too contrived. As a teacher who hears kids talk, it felt fake when reading the books.
I was in Barnes & Noble yesterday and noticed adult murder mystery writer Sherrilyn Kenyon in the YA section. Her series, The Chronicle of Nick, looks appealing but I am not sure I am ready for another adult author trying to horn-in on the YA trend.
That being said, I am liking the new 39 Clues: Cahills vs Vespers #6 book written by David Baldacci. Maybe it is because I am not a fan of Baldacci’s adult work that I appreciate his YA work? I don’t know. Maybe?
I will be watching…
This is another series for young adults by James Patterson. I have only read the first book and do not really plan to read the remaining books in the series as it did not capture my interest.
The series is about a society in which being a witch or wizard is against the law and anyone possessing those abilities are removed from their homes, sentenced, and punished to the full extent of the law. In the first book of the series a tween and teen sister and brother are abjectly removed from their homes and thrown into prison for being a witch and wizard, something they knew nothing about. Their parents do not say much and you really do not get a feeling of a the normal nuclear family even though Patterson tries to paint the picture with words. It just does not feel right. There is no connection.
Again Patterson attempts to write dialog intended for teens and children and he misses the mark. I am not sure he is doing the work himself or if someone is helping him but he may want to hang out at a public school to get the real way in which kids speak nowadays.
As with his other young adult work, Maximum Ride, Witch and Wizard come close but do not hit the mark.
I am a big fan of James Patterson‘s adult books. My favorites are the Women’s Murder Club and the Alex Cross series’. This is the first young adult series by Patterson I have read and to be honest, I did not like it nearly as much. I don’t know if he had help with trying write like a kid or if he assumed all kids spoke similarly just by the fact of their age or what. I skipped a book and did not miss it. I normally read books in order, I feel that to understand the full depth of a character you need to read books chronologically by what is taking place in their lives. No, I do not like prequels very much.
I also felt that Patterson used the series to preach about the direness of the world due to global warming. He did not do it in a subtle manner at all, the characters PREACHED it.
The premise behind the series is that a group of unscrupulous people – scientists, doctors, politicians, etc – formed a group to create the perfect being able to survive the destruction of the world as we now know it. Global warming would destroy the world food supply and we may even cause unknown diseased, yada, yada, yada. Max and her band of merry children were created (some by test-tube without any real parents, others with) to withstand and adapt to whatever the environment throws at them. They are meant to be the surviving race when normal humans die off.
Good premise, but not so great execution. It kept me interested through three books and I forced myself to read a fourth but that is it for me. Perhaps I am too “mature” for the intended audience this book was geared toward. I’ll have to find some youth who have read it and ask their opinions.