Traveling in Fine Company

To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him, and travel in his company.
–Andre Gide

I’m traveling in some fine company these days! I’m the kind of reader that discovers an author (new to me) and sort of falls in love … with his/her books, style of writing, subject matter, or all of the above! I’ll often go on to read everything I can get my hands on by that author. I’m obsessed, driven, or just don’t want to leave the worlds that author creates. It would be quite a feat to read everything that Jane Yolen has written, but after reading Briar Rose recently, I find myself wanting to read more and more by her.

She wasn’t a totally unknown author to me. She’s written over 200 books and won many awards. Her Owl Moon was published shortly after I started teaching, and it’s been a book I’ve used with students since 1987 (any age group). And I read The Devil’s Arithmetic years ago when I taught a unit on the Holocaust to my 6th graders. Last week at the library I found a lovely little book by her called Child of Faerie, Child of Earth, a story of two unusual friends that remain friends throughout their lives. And right now I’m in the middle of her Young Merlin Trilogy, and just want to keep reading her books — picture books, novels for young and old, essays, collections, poems. I love it when I find such an author … it’s a pleasure traveling in her company for awhile!

8 thoughts on “Traveling in Fine Company

  1. Nymeth

    I loved The Young Merlin trilogy. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying Jane Yolen’s work…she really is an amazing author. And I know what you mean about falling in love with an author and wanting to read more and more of their work.


  2. tanabata

    I’ve got ‘Briar Rose’ on my pile by my desk so hopefully I’ll get to it soon. I know what you mean about wanting to read more by authors you’ve just discovered. Problem is I keep finding more authors!


  3. Carl V.

    A few years ago I read some article about Jane Yolen and it talked about how many books she had written and I had one of those ‘how could I have never heard of her’ moments. I certainly am no stranger to the young adult section of the store. It always amazes me that someone can be that prolific!


  4. Gentle Reader

    I have a bunch of Jane Yolen’s picture books at my house, including Owl Moon, but I’ll have to branch out into her other works, now, too–thanks!


  5. Robin

    Nymeth, I also picked up her Sword of the Rightful King at the library. I don’t know if it will be as good as The Young Merlin Trilogy, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

    Tanabata, that’s so true…but I do love finding those authors!

    Les, we love Owl Moon, too. Did you know that the father in Owl Moon was based on Yolen’s husband? Sadly, she lost him to cancer in 2006, after 44 years of marriage.

    Carl, she is incredibly prolific, isn’t she! And versitile! I love her poetry as well as the novels and children’s books I’ve read.

    Gentle Reader, her adult and young adult books are very enjoyable reading, too.


  6. Nan -

    How I loved Owl Moon when my kids were little. And my boy loved the Pit Dragon books and even wrote a review on amazon when he was little. :<)


  7. Robin

    Nan, it’s such a beautiful, quiet story. I haven’t read the Pit Dragon books, but I’d like to. She’s such a wonderful author.



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