Sunday, September 28, 2008


It's been a long time since my last post. The hurricane, and life in general, made things hectic.

The hurricane had a much greater impact than has been depicted in the media. Things around us are fine, but I hear from friends that Houston is still a mess, and of course Galveston will be a mess for a long time.

At any rate, I wanted to post on a couple of things. First, I have read a remarkable book, and want you all to know about it. It's Identical, by Ellen Hopkins. This is normally not the kind of book I would pick up, but Ellen is a Regional Advisor with SCBWI, and I had heard good things about it, so I sank my teeth into it. And her book sank its very sharp teeth into me.

Dealing with numerous difficult issues (incest, bulimia, and mental illness, to name a few), Identical nevertheless features a protagonist who is deeply engaging. The form of the book is prose-poem. I found the language hauntingly beautiful, and I was so riveted by the plight of the central character that I wanted to jump into the pages and save her.

If you are or know of a teen girl who can handle this tough but incredible read, I really recommend it.

On another front, I'm slogging away on my third Vermont College packet, and trying my own hand at edgier teen fiction. This is way outside my comfort zone, but I'm trying to dig deep. I had such an idyllic childhood. So many kids don't.

So, I think it's really important that this edgier literature is out there. Maybe it will help someone deal with a tough hand.


Ellen Hopkins said...

Thanks, Janet.... so happy IDENTICAL spoke to you.

XX, Ellen

Janet Fox said...

Ellen - I loved it. In fact, I'm writing one of my current essays about it. Congratulations on writing something so remarkable.