School Library Journal – February 2005

The current School Library Journal has two articles to note.

Bonnie Kunzel’s Hooray for Harry, is a round-up of recommended young adult fantasy novelists, including Garth Nix, Cornelia Funke, Tamora Pierce, and Eoin Colfer. Given the current discussion on the Journal, however, it might be worth noting that while Kunzel does list American Gods as a teen book in the following, be advised it falls into the adult literature category due to it’s content.

Most teens know Neil Gaiman as the author of the award-winning graphic-novel series Sandman, which follows the exploits of a family of seven immortals. But Gaiman is also one heck of a novelist, and American Gods (Morrow, 2001), his tale of middle-age, ex-con Shadow Moon’s eerie road trip, swept sci-fi and fantasy’s triple crown in 2002-winning a Hugo Award as the year’s top sci-fi title, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Nebula Award for best novel, and the annual Bram Stoker Award for the number-one work of horror. Although American Gods was published for adult readers, it has plenty of teen appeal. In addition, Gaiman wrote Coraline (HarperCollins, 2002), the winner of a Hugo award Coraline opens a mysterious locked door-which usually opens onto a bricked-up passageway-she finds herself in a very dark tunnel. At the other end, her “other” mother and father await with gleaming, black button eyes that are sewed on by thread. They’d love the young girl to stay with them forever, but there’s a catch: she must first have her eyes replaced with those gleaming black buttons. As Gaiman traveled the country reading Coraline to groups of children and parents, he discovered that kids responded to the story as a terrifie, sitting-on-the-edge-of-their-seat adventure. As for the adults in the audience, Coraline was the stuff of nightmares.

***

Steve Weiner reviews Inside the Mind Of the Creator -Hanging Out with the Dream King: Conversations with Neil Gaiman & His Collaborators in the same issue:

Neil Gaiman is rapidly becoming a superstar, having written several stellar graphic-novel series-Sandman and The Books of Magic-and more than a few best-selling novels, such as Coraline and Wolves in the Walls. In addition to being a prolific writer, the witty, erudite Gaiman is also a great interview. Now, some of his interviews have been collected in a single volume, Hanging Out with the Dream King.The book also features interviews with many of his collaborators, who present an intriguing behind-the-scenes view of what it’s like to actually work with Gaiman. Hanging Out is a must-read for Gaiman’s many devotees-and for anyone else who’s wild about fantasy, horror, and graphic novels.

***

For what it’s worth, the biography done for Rosen Publishing’s “Library of Graphic Novelists” is also out – the entire series is available through Midtown Comics and other retailers.