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Tuesday, March 28, 2006


No, Saralinda isn't an author (not yet, anyway). She's my niece. And she's not my niece.

Several years ago, my sister-in-law decided to start home-schooling her daughters. Since she was not herself a reader, she and I talked at length about what was good literature to interest my nieces in reading. I considered it a quest.

For several years, I read all the young adult literature I could get my hands on and made what recommendations I could. When I sent them to her, it was with letters talking about why I thought the particular book was good--or not.

Later, I stripped out the personal information and began posting those letters as reviews. However, in the interest of protecting my niece's privacy, I chose a different name for her. Having just read James Thurber's The Thirteen Clocks, I picked the name of the brave princess from that tale.

This year, my niece graduates from high school. J.K. Rowling probably contributed far more to her love of books that I did, but I'll always treasure those books that we were able to share.

If you'd like to read some of those letters, or are looking for some good literature to pass along to a young lady in your life, they're posted throughout BookHelpWeb:

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
It's Not the End of the World by Judy Blume
Castles of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse
The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Dating Hamlet by Lisa Fiedler
Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
Philip Hall Likes Me, I Reckon, Maybe by Bette Greene
The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw
The Ear, The Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Nightbirds on Nantucket by Joan Aiken
Libby on Wednesdays by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatley Snyder


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