Learning by Reading Books Written for Young People

Recently I read these 12 books by Tamora Pierce.

  • The Song of the Lioness quartet
    • Alanna: The First Adventure
    • In the Hand of the Goddess
    • Woman Who Rides Like a Man
    • Lioness Rampant
  • The Immortals quartet
    • Wild Magic
    • Wolf-Speaker
    • Emperor Mage
    • The Realms of the Gods
  • Protector of the Small quartet
    • First Test
    • Page
    • Squire
    • Lady Knight
Tamora Pierce Book Series Covers

tortall_and_other_lands_coverThese books, along with many others Pierce has written, are juvenile fiction with strong female protagonists. I enjoyed the stories and Pierce’s writing voice. I still ponder the world building, character development, and plots, which is a good indicator of how the stories influenced me. My writing style does not compare with Pierce’s, but I learned much from her. While I do not aim for the juvenile market with my stories, I hope what I write is accessible to the precocious readers in that age group.

An additional book related to these is Tamora Pierce’s Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales. This compilation of short stories contains The Dragon’s Tale in which Skysong, a young dragon we met in The Immortals quartet, is the protagonist. Skysong, called Kitten by her human caregiver Daine, is one of the most lovable dragons I have ever met. This story is one of my all-time favorites.


Another collection of juvenile fiction I enjoyed is by Patricia C. Wrede.

  • Enchanted Forest Chronicles
    • Dealing with Dragons
    • Searching for Dragons
    • Calling on Dragons
    • Talking to Dragons
Enchanted Forest Chronicles Covers

These stories take traditional fairytale tropes and twist them with great effect and Wrede’s writing style is great fun to read. Again, I improved my own writing skills by reading Wrede’s books.

I also enjoyed these books by Lloyd Alexander.

  • The Chronicles of Prydain
    • The Book of Three
    • The Black Cauldron
    • The Castle of Llyr
    • Taran Wanderer
    • The High King
The Chronicles of Prydain Covers

These five high-fantasy novels about Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his companions were a fun read and left me with many indelible mental images.

Books written for young people have taught me much about writing.