And The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. Only recently I’ve been inspired to write a book, which is nothing like this one, but still. It inspired me. And I haven’t read The Hundred Dresses in years. I learnt so much about writing from this book: villains for example.
Villains aren’t dark witches in weird hats. Villains are little girls who say a few mean things (without even realising it) and break another person’s heart.
My heart’s been torn apart by Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. The amount of things I’ve learnt about writing here is insane! You don’t need a lot of words to break someone’s heart (heck, the book’s less than 100 pages!). Friendships between kids who don’t “fit the norm” are powerful. And it’s perfectly acceptable to DESTROY YOUR READERS’ FEELS.
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli? You can write whatever style you want.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster? Um…just the name…Milo. I may or may not have borrowed it permanently.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken? Nothing is more powerful then YOUR imagination. If you want to imagine it: then do it. If you want to write your weird imaginings? Then do it.
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare and Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. I can’t even begin to tell you how obsessed I was with these. (Still am, actually.) I reread The Bronze Bow so many times…and each time Samson entered his finale, my gut twisted. And each time Daniel yelled at Leah, I crumpled too. And each time Joel and Thace risked their lives…I felt like Daniel. I wanted to put them all in my pocket and keep them safe.
And Moccasin Trail? Jim. Or Jm as he was spelling his name. GOSH. They were such a broken family, yet they pulled it together. Because love was their survival — not having everyone conform to society. (Although, I kind of wish they hadn’t conformed as much in the end. My heart always bled when Jim cut off his Indian braids.)
I remember every page of these two books.
I love them.
I loved them so much I knew I had to write, too. Though the full how-I-became-a-writer-story involves Mime starting first and me, being jealous and needing to conquer all with her, took it up as well.
If I ever have children (which I doubt, because I’m married to my bookshelf), these are the books I’d want them to read too. I’d want them to read books that would expand their minds. Teach them to think. Break their hearts. You know, normal stuff like that. (Was anybody okay after Bridge to Terabithia?!)
Cait has a sudden urge to reread all her favourite books. Maybe she should…for old times sake. But her TBR of new books is 11 strong at the moment, and she should probably put a dent in it first. Currently, she’s folding origami paper dresses…out of books. She feels slightly guilty about cutting up books.