Book recommendation for beautiful language

A big thank you to all librarians. Not only do they introduce books to kids, making readers, they are so helpful to writers too. Thank you!

Successful writers agree that one of the best ways to learn how to write better is to read, so I’ve been reading the bestsellers in the genre I write. Through my reading, I learn about characters, plot, description, etc.

When I was doing the last revision of my novel, I figured I needed to go outside of my genre. I wanted something strong on language — not that the bestsellers aren’t great books for language, but each book has its strength. So, I went to the library and looked for some books I had heard about that were known for their beautiful language. Unfortunately, they were checked out — readers know about the good books.

The White Darkness book coverSo, I asked the librarian for suggestions on middle grade books that have great language. The librarian thought for a while, then did some typing in her computer, lead me a shelf and handed me a copy of The White Darkness, a Printz winner by Geraldine McCaughrean.

Never one for waiting, I flipped over the jacket and started reading as I walked to the car. The writing in the jacket copy was so amazing, I got really excited about reading this book. I got in my car, and at my first red light, I couldn’t help myself, I flipped open the first page and carried on reading. (Please don’t follow me in this part.)

I’m now about two-thirds of the way through the book, and although, plot-wise, the book is a little frustrating (I know something bad is going to happen, but it takes a long time to get there), the writing sure is beautiful. Somehow, through osmosis, I hope to learn how to write more beautifully, thanks to books like The White Darkness. I would recommend this one for anyone looking for examples of great use of language.

What book would you recommend for great language?

Write On!

2 Responses

  1. Alicia Blade says:

    The first that come to my mind are The Book Thief, Lolita, and everything by Gregory Maguire. The words sing on every page, and yet they never take you out of the story or the characters. Definitely envy-worthy.

  2. Oh yeah, I’ve heard great things about The Book Thief. Editor Ruta Rimas ( raved about the writing in her presentation at the Houston SCBWI conference.

    I haven’t read Lolita, but I have read Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, and I agree totally on the writing. Like The White Darkness, I found the plot a little long-winded in the middle, but the word choices are inspiring.

    Thanks, Alicia.

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