Sunday, 17 February 2013

Books I was too old for, first time round...

did anyone ever read Nicholas Fisk?  when i was a kid i remember reading 'Space Hostages', 'Robot Revolt', 'Grinny' and 'Trillions' - taking them out of Newton Aycliffe library. They seemed just *enough* like the Doctor Who books I'd run out of. Now i'm catching up with a Fisk that came out after I'd passed that age (the first time) - 'On the Flip Side', and it's just wonderful.


At first it's about a girl, Lettice, who can speak to her pets - and then, very quickly, it turns into a novel of impending global catastrophe. It turns out that the animals are all being menaced by... giant, semi-transparent, stripy Blobs. Doctor Kalabza - a wildly eccentric TV personality - is one of the first to believe Lettice's ideas - landing his helicopter in her garden and inviting her onto TV to tell the world about what's really going on.

It's written so beautifully - and, though my description has made it sound ridiculous - it's carried out with utter seriousness. The scenes with Lettice talking to her dog and other animals are actually very touching - filled with her compassion for them, and her sense of the limits of their perceptions.

Another YA author I have been completely bowled over by this year so far is Betsy Byars. Someone i never read when i was young - simply because i wouldn't have been allowed to take 'girls' books' out of the library! She's a wonderful writer. Somehow her language, her sentences - the twists that her characters' thoughts take - they are extremely accurate. They're so *true.* Recently I've read The Cartoonist, The TV Kid and The Midnight Fox - the last of which was my favourite, and one I know I'll go back to. Yesterday I was delighted to find that the majority of her work was published on Kindle - just last week! (A little bit pricily, compared with most kindle books - but never mind.)


5 comments:

  1. Nicholas Fisk was one of my favourite writers as a child, and he was well-represented in my primary school library. I should revisit them now, but I've not seen any of his stuff for years.

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    1. i'm glad to find that they're many more titles than i thought! he's oop, i think - and weirdly, given his space-aginess - nothing of his is available on kindle..!

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  2. Loved Fisk novels... I used to steal them from my younger brother, and I still remember the chills that Grinny gave me. Weren't some televised - I'm sure I remember Trillions on Children's TV?

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    1. Can't remember any being televised, Jane. Closest they've got is Doctor Who 'borrowing' from 'Trillions' last year for 'The Power of Three.'...

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  3. I read 'Trillions' when I was at school. Never braved 'Grinny' though - the cover of the edition in the school library was too creepy for me, I could never bring myself to actually read it!

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