Monday 14 January 2019

Yippy Ys and Zippy Zs by Lynne Benton

I must confess to not being familiar with all these authors, but I couldn’t leave out the last two letters of the alphabet!

LAURENCE YEP is a prolific Chinese-American writer, best known for his children’s books, most of which are historical or based on ancient Chinese myths. In 2005, he received the biennial Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for his contribution to American children's literature.  Many of his books, most notably his Golden Mountain Chronicles, documenting the fictional Young family from 1849 in China to 1995 in America, were based on his own experiences of being cultural outsider.

JANE YOLEN (born February 11, 1939) is another American writer of fantasy, science fiction, and children's books. She is the author or editor of more than 365 books, of which the best known is The Devil’s Arithmetic, a Holocaust novella.  She was born in New York, and her first book for children, Pirates in Petticoats, was published on her 22nd birthday.

CHARLOTTE M YONGE was born in Hampshire, England, in 1823.   She was born into a religious family, and her work was widely read and respected in the 19th century by writers such as Lewis Carroll, Lord Tennyson and CS Lewis.  She wrote chiefly for young people, especially young girls, and her obituary in The Times noted that “her books are the result not only of a strong ethical purpose, but also of her firm devotion to the High Church view of Christian doctrine and practice.”  Sadly most of her books are no longer in print and have been little studied, with the possible exception of The Heir of Radclyffe.

BENJAMIN ZEPHANIA was born in Birmingham in 1958, the son of a Jamaican nurse and a Barbadian postman.  He is dyslexic and left school at 13 unable to read or write, but now he is principally known as a dub poet, a musician and a Rastafarian.  His first book of poetry for children, called Talking Turkeys, was reprinted after six weeks. In 1999 he wrote a novel for teenagers, Face, the first of four novels to date.

PAUL ZINDEL was an American playwright, young adult novelist, and educator.  He wrote a total of 53 books, all but one of them aimed at children or teens, and many of which were semi-autobiographical, focusing on teenage misfits with abusive or neglectful parents. Zindel himself grew up in a single-parent household; his mother worked at various occupations, and they moved frequently, and his mother often engaged in "get-rich-quick" schemes that did not succeed. His father abandoned them.  This upbringing was most closely depicted in Confessions of a Teenage Baboon.  He died in 2003.

I’m sorry to have reached the end of my ABC of children’s writers.  I’ve really enjoyed researching and writing this series, and I hope some of you have enjoyed reading them.  Now I shall have to think of something else for my blog next month…

Latest book “Danger at Hadrian’s Wall

1 comment:

Abbeybufo said...

Many of Charlotte M Yonge titles are available on Project Gutenberg, if anyone wants to try them...