How’s Braumaru doing?

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I was so happy yesterday! I ran a report to see which books have been checked out most in the last 30 days in my library, and was totally shocked to see Behold the Eye: Braumaru listed as #1! I ran another report, but this time for most checked out in 1 year. Braumaru was #4. Not bad for a book that has only been published about 8 months!

Then I got home, and waiting for me was a rejection letter from a contest I had entered Braumaru. Not only had I not won, but the reviewer thought that the book was too complicated for kids in Middle School, so they would become frustrated and not finish it.

Listen, I know that not everyone who reads my books are going to like them. This is a fact. I can live with it. I expect it.

But I would much prefer for the reviewer to state that s/he did not like my book rather than say that the middle school/young adult crowd are not smart enough to understand my books. That they would not be able to follow the storyline.

It makes me wonder if the reviewer actually reads fiction written for this age group. Does s/he not understand that books that have been dumbed down are quite often mundane and boring? Is it possible that s/he is not aware that the young mind is perfectly capable of handling and detangling complicated plots? Could it be that s/he does not know that a book that challenges while it entertains is a powerful encouragement to continued reading? Books need to be fun!

I am a mother, a librarian, and a writer.

As a mother, I’ve watched the reaction my children have had to various stimuli. And after watching, I made a conscious decision to be involved in what they were exposed to. Yes, I will admit it. I made careful selections (aka censoring) of my children’s computer use, television viewing, and book choices. But my choices were never to dumb things down, only to keep out the inappropriate.

As a librarian, my job is to choose reading material that will encourage the love of reading and learning. I spend hours every day evaluating books to that end. What age group do I evaluate for you ask? Kindergarten through 12th grade. And to do this I ask a lot of questions of the kids, about what they like in a book, what keeps their interest, what makes them think!

As the writer of the Behold the Eye trilogy my goal was to write a story that I, as an adult, would enjoy reading, and that I could read aloud to my child.

Which is why I know some people will not like my books. The Behold the Eye trilogy has no vulgarity, no vampires, and no scenes that would make a person blush.

They are complex, interesting, and fun!

What do you think?