On Robin McKinley’s Fantasies and the Books That Are “Just Yours”
This Week on the NewberyTart Podcast
Each week on NewberyTart, Jennie and Marcy, two book-loving mamas (and a librarian and a bookseller, respectively), read and drink their way through the entire catalogue of Newbery books, and interview authors and illustrators along the way.
In this episode, Marcy and Jennie talk about the 1983 Newbery Honor book The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.
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From the episode:
Marcy: There are some books that are yours, you know what I mean? If I wanted to pick some shoes that were mine, I would put on black Converse. And if I wanted to write with the pen that is mine, it’s a black fine-point Pilot pen. And if I want to read books that were mine, in that way, it’s Robin McKinley’s books. It’s a part of me, right? It’s hard for me to be critical because I guess if you’re reading them for the first time, they could come across as cold and distant, but I’ve read them so much and I love them so much that every time I read them, it’s like this delicious and wonderful treat. I know the richness that’s behind them and I love it.
It’s such a creative and unique world-building that she does that is still bound to some of her other books and short stories set in what we would consider the real world. In other short stories, it comes out that this is actually in a long ago past and in a sub-Asian continent. So it’s actually set in this world in a fantasy way. It feels so decadent and delicious to me. Every time I start reading even the tiniest short story I have to read every single thing.
Jennie: And I think that’s a lot of weight to take on as a new reader. I have read Sunshine and I think I’ve read something else by her, and I liked them. What you’re describing, I definitely know what you mean by they’re your books. To me Francesa Lia Brock, it doesn’t matter what she writes, I will always read it and I will always find something in it that reflects back at me.