Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Young Authors

We are always talking here on ReviewMeTwice about writing and getting published.  While neither of us have (officially) been published ourselves, we like to encourage you as much as possible. 

This week, we're reading Divergent by Veronica Roth.  Roth is only 24 years old!  And she had her first book published at 23.  She's is incredibly young for an author but by no means terrible at what she does.  Today I'm going to show you that it doesn't matter at what age you write, you can still put out some amazing books.

S.E. Hinton wrote probably one of the best and most moving YA lit books.  And there are few who haven't read The Outsiders.  It's really a heartbreaking tale about kids pulled into gangs too early.  Despite the fact that all of our characters are criminals, we can't help fall in love with Ponyboy, Soda Pop, Darry and all the other Greasers.

But did you know that, not only is Hinton female (something I didn't realize for years) but she was only 16 when she wrote the book!  It was two years later (age 18) that it was published.  It was based on what she had seen every day at her own school, proving that you should write what you know.

Who hasn't read this heart wrenching story of Anne Frank, the girl who captured our hearts by simply writing in her diary.  It was amazing to see that, despite living in constant fear of being caught, Anne Frank still managed to be a teenager and do things like crush on boys.

However, Anne Frank was only 13 when she wrote her diary.  And while she never really intended it to be publicized the way that it was (and her book is a little different from the others I'm presenting, because it's the only non-fiction), that didn't stop this book from being a staple in literature.

Whoever said that ADD and dyslexia was a hindrance?   It certainly didn't seem to be for Dav Pilkey, who has both but still manages to bring us these silly fun tales.  A story about two kids who managed to hypnotize their principle and make him believe he was Captain Underpants (a character they created.)

Pilkey actually created Captain Underpants in elementary school, when he was forced to sit outside for his bad behavior.  The series was published when he was just 21 years old and has since become a silly, fun series for kids.

Mary Shelley managed to defy all odds with her book Frankenstein.  Women authors were few and far between in the early 1800s, but even more interesting was her age when the book came out.  She was only 19 when the book was published and has since become a wildly loved and widely recognized book.  Even those who haven't read it know what "Frankenstein's Monster" looks like.  Though the 1931 version of the film is probably the most famous, there have been countless adaptations to film and plays.

While I haven't read the book personally, The Black Stallion is another loved book that was turned into and even more loved movie.  About a boy and a horse who are dependent on each other for survival after a shipwreck, this book teaches about love and trust and triumph.

The most surprising part about all this is that Farley was only 26 when the book was published.  What's more, he was still in high school when he began writing it.

Eragon is a heroic and loving tale about a boy and a dragon.  Eragon, having found and hatched a dragon egg, is forced to flee from his home when the evil king comes looking for the dragon (for only the King has dragons.)  He seek out a rebel group in hopes of helping them defeat the king.

Paolini wrote the book when he was only 15 years old.  When he was finished with it, his parents self-published his book.  It wasn't until 2003 (age 18) that the book really took off, becoming the third best-selling children's book that year.

These are just a few of young published authors.  While being published young is rare, it's by no means impossible.  So pick up that pen, put it to some paper and let the words flow.

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