March 6, 2009

Best Books

It makes me crazy when someone says, "I can't believe the terrible books they publish! Why can't they publish mine?"

I'll tell you why. You are not competing against the worst books being published. You are competing against the best.

Gary Paulsen said it well in an article for Writer's Digest. "You are competing against me."

I always think of the finest in middle grade literature when I'm pushing myself to revise yet one more time. And, at the moment, I am pushing myself to revise yet one more time. And am grateful for the opportunity.

Here are some of the middle grade novels I admire:

Granny Torelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech
Swear to Howdy by Wendelin Van Draanen
Rules by Cynthia Lord
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Wringer by Jerry Spinelli
Holes by Louis Sachar
Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis, although this skews older
Rash by Pete Hautman
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

What are your favorite MG titles? YA? Picture books?

Which book holds you to the highest standard?

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