Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Author Spotlight: Anne Ursu

While I don't like to admit it, I am a very picky reader. I think I have angrily abandoned more books than I have read in their entirety. It takes a very talented writer to keep me transfixed before the printed word. Otherwise, I'm likely to become distracted by the TV. In my defense, sometimes it's well-written TV, like LOST. I've also been known to escape and watch bad TV, say...Date My Mom. But I digress.

I discovered Anne Ursu through the recommendation of Nancy Pearl. You might know her as the librarian action figure. I know her as the queen of reader's advisory services. I started with Ursu's first novel, Spilling Clarence. In this book, an entire town is troubled by vivid memories that surface after a mysterious chemical is accidentally released into the air. I enjoyed it so much that I finished the novel in record time and proceeded to her second book, The Disapparation of James. In this story, a family deals with the literal disappearance of their son when he volunteers for a circus act. Ursu has an incredible imagination and a way of truly representing the depths of human emotion. Even so, her style is light and accessible. Though the books deal with impossible circumstances, I could still relate to the thoughts and experiences of the characters.

I highly recommend these titles for adult readers. For your child (grades 5-8), especially young fans of Greek mythology, you might try The Shadow Thieves. I haven't read it myself but it sounds interesting, and it will be the first in a trilogy.

Photograph: http://www.anneursu.com/

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