Sunday, March 29, 2009

Australian Verse Novels for Children and YA: A List

I'm endeavouring to compile a list of Australian verse novels for children and young adults. (I must add that I'm not ignoring verse novels for older readers or by writers from other countries - those lists will follow later). Unfortunately, my list isn't as long as I had hoped, but here goes:

A Dangerous Girl, by Catherine Bateson
His Name In Fire, by Catherine Bateson
The Year It All Happened, by Catherine Bateson
Farm Kid, by Sherryl Clark
Sixth Grade Style Queen (Not), by Sherryl Clark
What Does Blue Feel Like, by Jessica Davidson
Goodbye Jamie Boyd, by Elizabeth Fensham
Volcano Boy, by Libby Hathorn
A Place like This, by Steven Herrick
By the River, by Steven Herrick
Cold Skin, by Steven Herrick
Do-Wrong Ron, by Steven Herrick
Kissing Annabel, by Steven Herrick
Lonesome Howl, by Steven Herrick
Love Ghosts and Nose Hair, by Steven Herrick
Naked Bunyip Dancing,
by Steven Herrick
The Simple Gift,
by Steven Herrick
Tom Jones Saves the World,
by Steven Herrick
Ratwhiskers and Me,
by Lorraine Marwood
Against the Tide, by Irina Savvides
Muscle, by Matthew Schreuder
Nine hours north , by Tim Sinclair
The Angel of Barbican High, by Michelle Taylor
Jinx, by Margaret Wild
One Night,
by Margaret Wild

I am sure I have missed some. If you know of a chidlren's or YA verse novel written by an Aussie author or poet, please leave a comment below and I will add it to the list.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Author Copies and Other News

In my mailbox this week was a lovely surprise - the balance of my advance copies of Pearl Verses the World, my verse novel to be released May 1.
I've been dancing around with one copy for a month or so, but it was nice to get the rest and know that this brings us another step closer to release - six weeks away now.
Pearl was featured in Walker Books' media mail out this week, so hopefully requests for review copies will come in.

In preparation for May 1 (and beyond) I am planning a blog tour to promote the book and talk about verse novels, writing for children and more. My tour kicks off on launch day, so watch this space.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Highlight on a Verse Novel:Jinx, by Margaret Wild

The first verse novel I read and reviewed was Jinx, by Margaret Wild.

Aimed at teens, Jinx tells the tale of Jen, who renames herself Jinx because it seems she's a Jinx to everyone she meets.

Published in 2001, Kinx was shortlisted for the CBCA Awards - Australia's top children's book awards - in 2002.

Read the reviews:

My own review, at Aussiereviews in 2002
Richie at Richie's Picks review in May, 2002
Reviews from booklist, horn Book and others, reprinetd at the Wlaker Young readers site
Reviews from two teen readers at the YARA site

Read About the Author, Margaret Wild
Author Page at Allen & Unwin
Bio at Wikipedia, including a bibiography of Wild's works.

Purchase the Book

First published in Australia, Jinx has been published around the world, and is still available.
In Australia, it can be purchased from Fishpond, though it should be noted that this is actually a US edition - thus the high price. I am still searching for an Australian version.
In the US, it can be purchased from Amazon.
Jinx still holds an important place in my book collection. If you've not yet read it, and are looking for a quality YA read, check it out.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I've long had a fascination with the verse novel form, in particular verse novels for children and young adults. Since I read one for the first time, I have sought them out, read them, loved them, and shared them with others. I also dreamt that I would one day write one, though I imagined myself first studying the form in more depth - reading treatises on the form, studying how-to books and articles and then, perhaps, finally being brave enough to tackle a project of my own.

I did eventually write my first verse novel, though the process was very different than that which I'd imagined. One night I was getting into bed and some lines of poetry popped into my head. I wrote them down, then a few more. Over the following weeks little bits of poetry came to me at odd times, and finally I realised these poems were connected and that a little girl wanted me to write her story. There was some wrestling as I tried to figure out just what her story was, but really the story just flowed. That story, Pearl Verses the World, will be published in May this year by Walker Books Australia.

Here on this blog I'll not only share news about Pearl, but also my thoughts and responses to other verse novels, and also news and opinions from across the blogiverse about verse novels.