Tuesday, May 22, 2007


(This is days late because that's what happens when you don't read the regular news)

I'm not sure if I've ever made this clear, but the title, blog address and screen name I use are all taken from two of my favorite characters. I picked them in part because Sara Crewe, Meg, Anne Shirley and the like we're all taken - but also because they happen to be adventure stories, and I had such a hard time finding adventure stories featuring girls while I was growing up.

The True Confessions of an Hourly Bookseller is an homage to Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. A story about a girl who dresses up as a boy and stows aboard a merchant ship - and then ends up having to solve a murder mystery. I haven't read it in ages, but I have a very clear memory of her being "rescued" in the end, and her choosing to continue her life at sea instead.

Westmark is a series about a kingdom by that name. It was written by Lloyd Alexander, the author of The Black Cauldron series. I picked Mickle as my screen name not just because the more recognizable Eilonwy is both harder to spell and pronounce, but because I always liked Mickle more than Eilonwy. She is not the main character of the story, especially at first, but her character is both strong and interesting, and it's very clear throughout the series that she is not an addendum to the story or a plot point needed for Theo's character development. Westmark is more of a parable about democracy than it is a fantasy series, and Mickle's final act as the rightfully restored Queen Augustus is to step down so that the people may rule. Combined with the nature of her relationship with Theo and her actions during the invasion of her country, the end result is a character who has learned how to take charge when needed, but without letting her strengths and good fortune silence the voices of others.

Avi is still alive and well, but Lloyd Alexander passed away on May 17th. He will be missed, and we were lucky to have him for as long as we did.

1 comment:

100LittleDolls said...

I loved The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle! I think I must have checked it out from the library about five times.

I hadn't realized (or heard) that Lloyd Alexander passed away. I loved him and his books. Some of the best YA reading ever. The first book of his that I read was The Arkadians.