Five Family Favorites with Kat Beyer, Author of The Halcyon Bird
Kat Beyer | The Children’s Book Review | November 15, 2014
What a wonderful topic! Two caveats: first, I’m cheating and counting series as one book, so you’re getting a lot more than five books for your buck here, and second, my daughter is two and a half so she’s mainly a fan of “Moon” (Goodnight Moon), “Chu” (Chu’s Day) and “Pout” (The Pout-Pout Fish). There are only the two of us for the moment, though we have many dear friends and family around us and around the world. Here are the books I can’t wait to introduce her to:
- The Other Wind by Ursula Le Guin. My first love was A Wizard of Earthseaand all the other books in between in this series, but the final novel appeals to me at this time in my life. Her worldbuilding, her sense of the heroine’s journey, her translucent prose—Le Guin is who I want to be when I grow up. Read the description of a dragon’s transformation in the center of the book if you want to see a master of craft at work.
- The Harper Hall Trilogyby Anne McCaffrey. I identified deeply with Menolly, though my parents were much cooler than hers. McCaffrey’s Menolly and Robinton inspired me to keep at what I loved. Plus someday I want to tame a fire lizard, duh.
- All of the Granny Weatherwax and Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett, who understands female power better than an awful lot of women, and who wrote one of my favorite definitions of morality: “Sin is when you treat people as things. That’s what sin is.”
- All of Jane Austen’s completed novels, particularly Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.I love them for Austen’s subtle, uproarious humor, for her fierce insight into human nature, for her quiet revolutionary thinking, for her heroines both well-mannered and feisty, and for the comfort her words give on restless nights, when I’m beat from novel-making and kid-raising and snow-shoveling and my mind needs to settle for sleep.
- Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like by Jay Williams, with illustrations by Mercer Mayer. My parents used to let us choose one book apiece at a bookstore in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. I found this on one memorable night, and remain utterly blown away by the story and the incredible illustrations. The moral is great too: don’t judge a dragon by its cover.
I’m looking for spare copies of all of these books so my kid can have one to dog-ear and I can have one to treasure—a clean copy for her to put in her library when, as my grandmother used to say, “I don’t need it any more.”
About Kat Beyer
Kat Beyer has an M.A. in medieval history and has loved all things Italian for as long as she can remember. Her first novel was The Demon Catchers of Milan. She lives with her daughter in Madison, Wisconsin. Visit her online at http://www.katspaw.com/blog/.
By Kat Beyer
For fans of Lauren Kate and Cassandra Clare, a romance with a paranormal streak.
Mia has settled into her life with the Della Torres—Milan’s premier demon-catching family, accompanying them to exorcisms and even learning some way to be useful in the family trade. Then Bernardo comes into her life, handsome, well-mannered, someone who makes her forget her impossible crush on Emilio, her cousin. But always lurking in the background is the demon who possessed Mia once before, and who has not given up on possessing her again—this time for good.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: EgmontUSA | November 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-1606843161
Enter to win a hardcover copy of The Demon Catchers of Milan 2: The Halcyon Bird, by Kat Beyer. Giveaway ends December 14, 2014.
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