I confess, I enjoy books written for the younger audience despite my advancing years. I especially enjoy those characters that are well written, challenge the younger reader, and are memorable. This year two characters stand out: Percy Jackson and Josephine DeLune.
Percy Jackson is the character that shot author Rick Riordan to superstar status. Percy Jackson is the teenager that just doesn’t fit in and then strange things begin to happen to him. Soon Percy is thrown into a world where the Greek gods are real and he learns he is a demi-god. That’s the stage set by the first book and soon readers begin learning Greek mythology without even being aware they are learning. Instead, there is simply an excellent story that presents educational information as plot twists and turns. I’m not to proud to admit that I got a refresher course in Greek mythology reading The Lightening Thief. I have yet to finish the series but it is on my list of things to accomplish next year.
Josephine DeLune is the heroine of Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy which I reviewed earlier this year. Josephine believes she’s the first in her family who is missing the “magic” that would make her a witch. Josephine must overcome her doubt and insecurities to learn that the “magic” has been there all along. A great story about learning to trust one’s self and trying not to imitation others but to be her own individual. Tough lessons at any age but even tougher when you throw in your first crush and all the at the same time, well then that makes that life lesson even more complicated. Kincy handles it all with grace and humor. Life’s little lessons are treated with realism, humor, and sensitivity. The reader slowly internalizes the lesson while chasing zombies, becoming a witch, kissing a boy, and defeating an ancient evil.