Good Minds Suggest: Erika Johansen’s Favorite Adult Books About Children

Posted by Goodreads on November 7, 2016

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In the thrilling conclusion to the New York Times-bestselling The Queen of the Tearling series, The Fate of the Tearling returns us to Kelsea Glynn and her kingdom. Kelsea has now transformed herself from a gawky teen into the powerful and headstrong Queen of Tearling. At the end of the last book, we saw Kelsea give herself and the magical sapphires to the Red Queen in order to protect her people. Now we'll find out the fates of Queen Kelsea, Mace, Fetch, and the entire kingdom. This series has earned a legion of dedicated fans, including actress Emma Watson, who is set to star in the film adaption of the first book.

Here, in this roundup of some of her favorite novels, author Erika Johansen tells us which child protagonists have captured her imagination:

Ferris Beach by Jill McCorkle
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"Jill McCorkle's books consistently warm my heart without skimping on the ugly side of life in any way. In Ferris Beach the protagonist, Mary Katherine Burns, has her childish perceptions of her family, friends, and community blown away one by one until she realizes she has suddenly become an adult. It's a painful process, but ultimately rewarding, and the book showcases McCorkle's great gift for spotting the details of small-town life."

It by Stephen King
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"Stephen King's epic tale of the many-faced monster is also something quite beautiful, an exploration of childhood and how we leave it behind. There are seven children here, all of them wonderfully authentic: clever, reckless, foul-mouthed, imaginative, sometimes courageous, and sometimes selfish. I love these children dearly, and when I close the book, I mourn their lost childhoods as well."

Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow
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"Billy is in early adolescence, but I include this book because he is very much a child in an adult world, a poor Depression-era boy who will witness up close the falling empire of gangster Dutch Schultz. The book's business is loss of innocence, and it pulls no punches as Billy watches his idol teeter and then topple. Doctorow's prose in this book is so lyrical that it evokes the language of Faulkner, and he manages to perfectly capture New York City in the gangster's heyday."

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
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"Ender Wiggin is a child genius, a very particular sort of genius with a high value. Unfortunately he's surrounded by adults who mean to exploit that genius at all costs. There are many novels about exceptional children, but few others do such a good job of chronicling the dangerous downside of that exceptionalism. This book is a cracking good read but holds a deep moral lesson at its center."

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
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"Here we meet a wisp of a girl named Bone, born into backbreaking poverty in the South. Bone's story looks at a theme dear to my heart, and rare in stories about children: the well-meaning parent who, nevertheless, cannot be trusted. Bone's mother loves her children and tries her best, but she's incapable of keeping them safe, and almost inevitably the wrong man comes walking through the door. This book is wonderful, horrifying, and at times surprisingly funny."

Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Adored Characters

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by Océanegr (new)

Océanegr Thank you very much for this interview Goodreads. :)

message 2: by Marisa (new)

Marisa I love this author and the world that she has given us within the Tearling books. Mrs. Johansen, if you read this, just know that I truly adore you. <3

message 3: by Amily (new)

Amily great interview, I read with pleasure. Now I try to write reviews for essays sites, here's one of them

message 4: by David (new)

David Arnett Thank you very much for the books overview and recommendations. I must confess I haven't yet read the Fate of the Tearling though I heard many feedback on it. Now I have another push to be more effective when working on the Custom essay meister review and leave time for a book!

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