RARA-AVIS: Children's HB Lit

From: Reed Andrus ( rsandrus@swbell.net)
Date: 26 Mar 2002

Two authors spring immediately to mind: Robert Cormier and Michael Cadnum. But both write what might be termed Young Adult rather than Children's literature.

Cormier's After the First Death is a masterpiece -- most list where you encounter this author cite I Am the Cheese, and The Chocolate War. All are excellent.

Cadnum's YA work is less known. I have only one in my personal collection -- Calling Home -- and I'm not sure it qualifies for the HB category.

Best regards,

... Reed

> The recent thread on cross-genre noir/hb (science fiction and fantasy)
> got me to thinkin... What would the cross-genre examples be for other
> genres?
> How about children's literature? I could only think of one example, and
> that one is obscure: Julia Cunningham's _Dorp Dead_ (yes, that's how
> it's spelled), about an orphan who comes under the sway of a rather
> sinister guardian. There must be other examples (more 'popular' ones
> than _Dorp Dead_), but I'm at a loss.
> Of course, most fairy tales in general (and the brothers Grimm in
> particular) are very dark, as are most of Roald Dahl's books. For
> example, consider _The Witches_, which was made into a very good movie
> with Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch. At the story's end, the
> boy (who remains a mouse--no reprieve, as in the movie) and his
> grandmother make plans for the genocide of witches everywhere (this was
> dropped for the movie). In _James and the Giant Peach_, James' evil
> aunts are crushed to death by the peach (again, this gets watered down
> in the movie)... but the story becomes too lighthearted after that.
> Oh! I thought of another good one: _There's a Hair in my Dirt_, by
> Gary Larson. (The cartoonist.) If you can find a copy of this gem, buy
> it!
> Doug Hoffman
> (always looking for suitable reading material for my very dark
> 6-year-old)

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