Tuesday, 9 August 2016

I would say that Carter and the Curious Maze was probably my favourite ...

"Your books were all really gripping to me..."
Jordi, age 10

I've recently made a new neighbourhood acquaintance through adversity. I won't get into how or why too much, only to say that a cat was killed by a speeder on our street, which lead to a movement to do something about the volume and speed of traffic that we endure on a daily basis.

So apart from trying to make the world a safer place for cats, children and old people (or anyone who gets in the way of a speeding car), my new acquaintance also happens to have a young son, Jordi, who loves to read (he also likes Magic the Gathering, which I'd never heard of). I don't have too many test readers from 9-12 anymore, so a few weeks ago I gave him my recent series, the Weird Stories Gone Wrong books, for an honest review.

He had such great ideas! It was fun to talk to him every few days about the books, and to watch him read like I sometimes did at his age, last page first. As far as I'm concerned, there's no wrong way to read a book. So thank you to Jordi and his mum, for reading and reporting back, from the land of weird stories.

Here are Jordi's thoughts, first on Jake and the Giant Hand:

"While I was reading the book Jake and the Giant Hand, I was thinking how cool it would be if there was a scene where the giant hand ripped itself free of the ground and went on a rampage. That would make for a truly nail-biting scene. Maybe at the end there would be a plot twist where it turns out the giant hand was just looking FOR his ring." 
That would be cool! Here's a link to an adaptation/excerpt of the book in Taddle Creek Magazine, where almost that very thing happens: The Giant's Knock

Jordi on Myles and the Monster Outside: "I also have an idea for Myles and the Monster Outside. At some point at night the monster could perhaps constrict the car so that the windows crack and the car gets dented. I think that would be horrifically awesome." The monster DOES do a little smashing, but total constriction? Very cool.

And finally, on Carter and the Curious Maze: "Now, I WOULD say that Carter and the Curious Maze was probably my favorite book so far... Maybe Carter would spend some time with his family and there would be news of disappearances. It would be cool if the wall, instead of appearing in front of Carter when he tries to go back, I would describe how the maze stretches infinitely in all directions." 

Yes! An infinite maze is a great idea. I tried to get the idea of the endless nature of the maze in the first chapters, just by sticking poor Carter there for so long. I also tried to  make the story seem like a midway ride, with lots of twists and ups and downs, punctuated by scream-inducing moments. But the idea of an endless maze would definitely creep me out.

So, many thanks Jordi, for the thoughtful reviews and honest feedback. I hope one day that I can read a story of his in return, that would make me really happy. Keep reading!

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