'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Look What I'm Reading! Karen Foxlee

Karen Foxlee’s young adult novels The Anatomy of Wings and The Midnight Dress were published internationally to much acclaim.  Her award-winning books for younger readers include Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, A Most Magical Girl and Lenny’s Book of Everything. She lives and writes in Queensland, Australia. 

Which children’s book are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars by Jaclyn Moriarty. 

Can you tell us in two sentences what the book is about?
It’s a fantastic fantasy novel about a mismatched band of friends from two rival schools who must join forces to outwit the evil whisperers. 

How much did you enjoy/are enjoying this title?
I love it so far and I’m only about eight chapters in.  Although it’s set in the same world as Moriarty’s The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone it is wonderfully different and full of new characters that I’m falling in love with already. Moriarty writes brilliant page-turning adventure stories that are filled with both humour and spirit and I just love them. I recommend them to every child I meet!

What made you choose this title? Was it a review, advertising, the cover, the blurb, the author/illustrator, or the subject/genre?
I was lucky enough to be given a copy of Jaclyn’s first children’s book The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone and adored it. As soon as I saw this on a table at Allen & Unwin in Sydney I knew I had to read it. 

What other titles are on your bedside table /To Read Pile?
I have Sam Wheeler’s Everything I’ve Never Said which I can’t wait to read.  Also, there is brilliant middle grade advanced reading copy of Rise of the Dragon Moon by Gabrielle K Byrne, an American debut author. It’s so good!! So scary and thrilling and so beautifully written.

How did you come by these titles: personal choice/request, publisher’s review copy, or other?
I went to Sam Wheeler’s book launch and purchased her book.  It was such a lovely book launch. We have all her other books at home here and my daughter loves them. Byrne’s book was sent to me by her publisher.  And I was lucky enough to come by Jaclyn Moriarty’s book when I was visiting my publisher, Allen & Unwin, in Sydney. 

Do you have a favourite genre? If so, what is it, and why do you prefer it?
Lately I’ve been reading a lot of middle grade, as well as grown up, fantasy.  I love how authors can create such perfectly realised worlds and how differently the magic works in each.  I like magic that makes me feel excited, that makes my heart beat faster.  And I love unpredictable fantasy stories that make me feel scared or worried about what is going to happen next.  In this category I recently loved The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill and The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull.  

Do you read from printed books or some other medium? Please expand a little on the why of your choice.
I mostly read printed books because I do love them as objects. Our house is stuffed to the rafters with books. It’s so good to keep a book that has touched you on a bookshelf, so you can return to it when you need it.  Occasionally, though, I read on my screen or in manuscript form.  Lately my daughter and I have been listening to Tolkien’s The Hobbit in an audio book and really enjoying that new experience. 

You can enjoy our review of Karen's latest book, Lenny's Book of Everything, here.