This week's readers advisory training is about appeal - the aspects of a work which attract a reader:
- Story Line (including the books context, type, genre, theme, and subjects)
The assignment this week is to consider three works that I enjoyed with regards to their appeal.
1. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Susan Collins
Ms. Collins' characterizations are AMAZING. Katniss is a strong, scrappy heroine, whose reactions to events seem perfectly in sync with the realities of her society. The books feel to me like the story moves at exactly the right speed. Her world-building is excellent; the characters seem to live in another world, even though the story takes place on the same soil American citizens live on now - a post-apocalyptic setting (which I've found myself fond of).
2. Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling
The pacing of the Harry Potter novels never seems to drag, probably because since her subject matter is tweens/teens, there's always some scrape to get into/out of or some drama to be embellished upon or resolved. Not to mention the involvement of He Who Must Not Be Named. Her characterizations are so rich and real, if one wanted to call witches and wizards real ... after reading seven books, I certainly felt as if they could be real, with how well I had gotten to know these delightful characters. I love the near-Earth settings, be they changed by a world-shattering event or by the presence, hidden as it may try to be, of magic. The article discussing appeal made mention of the amazing detail of the books, and I feel obligated to mention it here, as I have a House uniform hanging in my closet and have been to the theme park recreated from the pages of Ms. Rowling's books.
The tone of the novels is a thing of wonder to me, also. Because one book can contain the loneliness of a boy trapped in a home without love or affection, the joy of finding a place where he belongs and makes beloved friends, and the emerging dark evil of Lord Voldemort's return. And none of them feel out of place.