Saturday, November 21, 2009

Alex Flinn

Alex Flinn is the author of a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast titled Beastly, which was named a VOYA Editor's Choice for 2007, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age for 2008, and a 2008 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Her other books include Breathing Underwater, an ALA Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults, Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black, and Diva.

Her latest novel is A Kiss in Time.

Recently, I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I'm currently reading The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade. This is sort of like The Hunchback of Notre Dame (my very favorite book as a teen, which I read a few dozen times) if Quasimodo, the hunchback of the title, had been a shape-shifting spy. The book takes place in Victorian England. Modo, found near Notre Dame Cathedral and adopted from a freak show by Mr. Socrates, has a freakish appearance but compensates by being able to change his form for up to five hours. Mr. Socrates tells him that his ugliness is an asset because people will always underestimate him. Modo has been educated in regular subjects as well as combat, and has been dropped off in London where he has set up a business finding lost items. There, he has been hired by the mysterious Octavia Milkweed, who asks him to find her brother. However, the man he is searching for is not her brother, and there are strange doings afoot .... Think The Hunchback of Notre Dame meets Frankenstein meets Batman Begins. It's the first of a planned seven-book series.

I just finished The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Though this is an adult autobiography, I think it would be interesting to teens, and it's on the reading list at our local high school. Ms. Walls writes about her unusual childhood with her intelligent, creative, but often shockingly neglectful parents who moved the family from place to place and taught the kids to fend for themselves. Ms. Walls' success is an inspiration.
Visit Alex Flinn's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue