Question for Readers Who Know YA/Middle-Grade Books

Hi y'all. I'm looking for books where a main character is an alcoholic, for a middle-grade or YA audience.That's the bull's-eye of the target. Outer circles of the target are books with a subsidiary alcoholic character (I already know about Haymitch so apparently I'm going to venture into the Hunger Games books, pray for me); books with main characters who are addicted to other drugs, including fictional drugs; books where a main character goes through a period of heavy drinking that isn't … [Read more...]

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“Summer of ’90: ‘The Witches’”: Slant Magazine

on the last great children's nightmare factory of the 1980s: Children's movies are traditionally designed to comfort. There's an unspoken contract between parent and filmmaker: "For the next 90 minutes, your child will be entertained, but not threatened. No need to worry about your little darlings waking up at three in the morning, bawling in terror. This movie is guaranteed not to trouble anyone's mind. Most people are inherently good. The bad guys don't win."Children's movies, for the … [Read more...]

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The Butcher Birds: Lloyd Alexander, “The Kestrel”

I recently read a q&a with two authors in which one of them, Rachel Manija Brown, was asked for recommendations of books on post-traumatic stress. She's written some really clear & useful posts on the subject, so I was interested in what she'd say--and especially intrigued when she cited a children's fantasy novel as "one of my favorite depictions of how war can make people completely lose their minds, and how some of them come back from that and some don't."I'd read a couple of the … [Read more...]

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Hell Is for Children: “Krabat,” A New Entry in the Field of Scary Christmas Movies

For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.-Gal 5:1 One of my favorite novels when I was a girl was The Satanic Mill, by Ottfried Preussler. The title is not a metaphor or an allusion; the book is about a mill that is run by a man who has sold his soul to Satan. An orphan child finds his way to the mill and enters its sinister brotherhood, getting to know the other apprentices and journeymen--and, eventually, learning magic alongside … [Read more...]

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Tove Jansson’s “Alice in Wonderland”

EDITED: I can't show you the pictures for copyright reasons, but please, CLICK HERE!!! You owe it to yourself. … [Read more...]

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“Ivan Bilibin’s Russian Wonder Tales”

One of my favorite picture books when I was a child--second only to Tomie de Paola's Prince of the Dolomites--was a retelling of "The Tale of Czar Saltan" with Bilibin's illustrations.see them here! … [Read more...]

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“Ramona at Forty”: LA Review of Books

I always knew Beverly Cleary was a great writer. I read every single one of her books growing up — even the lesser-discussed ones like Otis Spofford and Ellen Tebbits with all the angst over something called “long underwear” that was mystifying to me as a kid in the 80s. I read most of them multiple times, and certain, VERY IMPORTANT aspects of those books have stuck with me for life. I still want to make Fong Quock’s rice “so that each grain was separate and fluffy and there was a crisp brown cr … [Read more...]

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