Young Readers Week
On our Young Readers Week episode, Molly admits to writing lots of vampire fan fiction (while we wear garlic necklaces and hold mirrors up to her), Ky pontificates on the Xanth novels, and Dean confesses to killing a man with a paper airplane, then hiding out in Mississippi.
Cirque Du Freak Series, Darren Shan
Dean: “Did you identify with Darren Shan as an outcast?”
Molly: “Did you really have to ask that question? I already admitted to writing fan fiction!”
Darren Shan’s an ordinary schoolboy, until he and his best friend Steve get tickets to the Cirque Du Freak, a bizarre freak show featuring such arcane performers as Hans Hands, Gertha Teeth, the Wolf Man and Rhamus Twobellies. In the midst of the ghoulish excitement, true terror raises its head when Steve recognises that one of the performers — Mr Crepsley — is in fact a vampire!
Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling
“You can’t talk about anything related to childhood without talking about Harry Potter.”
The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry’s struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic and subjugate all wizards and Muggles (non-magical people).
The Giver, Louis Lowry
“It’s freedom of speech for a reason.”
Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world.
When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does Jonas begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
Percy Jackson, Rick Riordan
“It encompasses the UNIVERSE.”
The exciting quest adventures featuring modern-day demigods and ancient monsters that Rick Riordan introduced in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series are far from finished. Memorable characters (including Percy himself), witty dialogue, and non-stop action abound in this second Olympian series, which spans the United States, Europe, and even the underworld. Now all five books in the Heroes of Olympus series are available in a paperback boxed set of heroic proportions. From The Lost Hero to The Blood of Olympus, this collection will thrill loyal fans and be a go-to gift for readers new to the internationally best-selling series. Includes a stunning poster of the seven Greek and Roman demigods who form the Prophecy of Seven.
Xanth Series, Piers Anthony
“It was weird, zany, and I loved it!”
The Magic of Xanth Series by Piers Anthony is set in an enchanted land where magic rules – where every citizen has a special spell only he could cast. They also have the ability to throw curses at their enemies. The books have a playful tone and the stories are filled with puns. The nine books in this series are: A Spell for Chameleon, The Source of Magic, Castle Roogna, Centaur Aisle, Ogre Ogre, Night Mare, Dragon on a Pedestal, Crewel Lye & Golem in the Gears.
Thieves’ World, Robert Asprin
“You can’t go back, Dean!”
The world’s top fantasy writers spin stories and loop the loop with each other’s characters in Tales from the Vulgar Unicorn, the second collection in this unique anthology series set in the amazing city of Sanctuary, where you can enjoy the quiet elegance of Ambrosia House; sample bizarre pleasures at the House of Whips; sip ale in the Vulgar Unicorn, and listen to some of the most strange, dangerous, magical and deadly tales ever told
The Destroyer, Warren Murphy
“Back in Milwaukee, I killed a man with a paper airplane.”
When you’re on death row, minutes from the electric chair, and a hook-handed monk offers to save your life if you’ll just swallow a simple little pill… what’ve you got to lose? You take the pill. Then you wake up, officially “dead,” in the back of an ambulance, headed for an undisclosed location. Welcome to your new life, working for CURE, the most secret, most deniable, most extra-judicial government agency ever to exist. Only the President knows about it, and even he doesn’t control it.
That’s what happened to Remo Williams, a New Jersey cop framed for a murder he didn’t commit. Framed by the very people who saved him, in fact. And now, trained in esoteric martial arts by Chiun, master of Sinanju, he’s going to become the ultimate killing machine. Remo will be America’s last line of defense against mad scientists, organized crime, ancient undead gods, and anything else that threatens the Constitution. Remo Williams is the Destroyer.
An action-adventure series leavened with social and political satire, the Destroyer novels have been thrilling readers worldwide for decades.
Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
“You yoinked it?”
Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger’s New Yorker stories–particularly “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut,” “The Laughing Man,” and “For Esme With Love and Squalor”–will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is full of children. The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield.
Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.
To listen to the episode, click below, and if you want to listen on your phone, we’re available on Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher. You can also find more episodes of The Pub right here on Straylight, including more discussion of young readers.