Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Diana Wynne Jones #atozreadingchallenge

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One of the great things about my sister-in-law (and there are lots of great things) is that we like to read the same kinds of books. She has introduced my children and me to lots of great books we would have missed if not for her. Diana Wynne Jones was one of the best suggestions she's given me.

Diana Wynne Jones lived from 1939-2010. She was 5 when World War II began. From the little I've read of her life, her parents didn't seem particularly interested in their children, so she and her two sisters were very close. She married John Burrows in 1957, and they had 3 sons. There is an official Diana Wynne Jones website, though there isn't a ton of new information as she's passed away - but you can find a list of all her book titles there, and there's a book exchange if you're looking for something in particular.

I was going to have my oldest daughter write about DWJ, because her favorite book of all time (to date) is Howl's Moving Castle. She actually saw the Studio Ghibli movie based on the book before reading the story, and fell in love. She's read Howl several times, and is now exploring more of Diana's books. I've read several, and have really enjoyed them too. Her stories are a great mix of fantasy and humor. I lucked out on a Better World Books bargain bin sale recently, and scored several books by Diana we've not read before. I've also found some at library sales (you may be noticing a pattern here).

I'd say most of her books are appropriate for middle school and up. Amazon says ages 8-12 or grades 3 and up, and that might be true for some of them, but they can get a little intense. No sex, or swearing, though. Some of her books were written for a younger audience. Check out this post to get an idea of what you might want your children to read, if you think they'd enjoy her books.

Howl's Moving Castle is probably my favorite book from DWJ, too. I've also enjoyed the Chrestomanci Chronicles, and really, just about everything I've read of hers. The one exception was Fire and Hemlock. That was a strange book. I didn't really get it. I should probably read it again sometime, just to see if I really didn't like it or wasn't paying enough attention when I read it, but you know, there are so many other books to read, I probably won't.

I'd love to know if you've read any of Diana Wynne Jones' books, and if so, what you thought of them!

(This Amazon widget thing is fun. I don't mind if you don't use my links, but it's a quick way to show several book covers with links.)

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