Friday, April 8, 2011

Paris Pan Takes The Dare by Cynthea Liu Helped this MG Writer

 Paris Pan Takes The Dare by Cynthea Liu was available for my Kindle so I downloaded it. Oh, how I wish I had bought it when it first came out. I'm sending hard copies to a couple of kids who are going to love this book! It is a wonderful, character driven story with  a couple of subplots woven in among a spooky larger plot. I could not put this book down! I added a link to Amazon so, if you haven't already, you can read the School Library Journal review .

Ms. Liu taught the writer part of me something with this book. Even though the characters were in seventh grade, this is definitely a middle grade book, and her treatment of this age confirmed for me why some twelve year old character stories are considered YA and others are MG.

This became a head scratching problem last spring when an editor of a publishing house told me one of my twelve year old character novels was young adult and not middle grade. She based her opinion on the age of my main character who was twelve. Because she considered it YA, I needed to add six thousand words before re-submitting. I didn't, instinctively I knew it wasn't YA, no high school student would want to read it, but......? Nice to know my instincts were right.

Cynthea Liu's Paris Pan Takes The Dare is a really, really good book!

10 comments:

  1. Oh, yay! I love new MG book recommendations~ will check it out :) Thanks!

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  2. Cynthia Liu critiqued my manuscript at the SCBWI conference in LA. She was so helpful! I'm glad you liked her book. I haven't read this one yet. :)

    Amy

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  3. You're right, I think MG covers a wide swath of readers. Thanks for recommending Paris Pan Takes the Dare!

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  4. Appreciate the heads-up--MG is the target age for my book, and I have a running list of books in this category that I want to read. Paris Pan is now on it!

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  5. I had that same issue with the first novel I wrote. I thought it was MG, then after getting critiques at conferences, some were saying it was YA, but I knew in my heart it was MG too. I guess that's when we go with out guts.

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  6. I'll have to look for this at my library. Thanks!

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  7. I've been meaning to read this book. It just looks like so much fun.

    The whole MG/YA line can be so tricky. I'm currently working on a tween project; the character started off in 9th grade but my agent suggested putting her in 8th. It's a small change but suddenly made the story much more MG. Ultimately, though, I think it's less about the age of the character and more about that character's thoughts and concerns that determine the book's intended audience.

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  8. I'm glad I got over here today. This book does sound wonderful. And since I just ordered a Kindle for my daughter (I have a Nook but some titles are only on Kindle) I will definitely put this book on my TBR list.

    Yes, going with our instincts is the thing to do!
    Ann Carbine Best’s Long Journey Home

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  9. Anna makes a good point. I think the character's concerns play a role in target audience, but so does the feel of the whole story. I also had a 15 year old in my last ms and my agent suggested 14 since the story wasn't dark.
    Interesting topic! And thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like a great book.

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  10. I seem to write stories that are squarely between MG and YA, with younger characters but more 'mature' themes. It is good to know that there are others out there who aren't 100% certain which category their stories fall into.

    'Paris Pan Takes the Dare' is a great title. I'd read it for that alone.

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