Normal Public Library Teens

Diana Wynne Jones, 1934-2011

Posted by Kristi on March 28, 2011

It feels like half of my blog posts lately are to tell you about wonderful childrens’ and young adult authors who have died.  Of those we’ve lost recently, though, this one by far hits me the hardest, because Diana Wynne Jones is one of my all-time favorites.  Ever since I first read Howl’s Moving Castle as a teenager (and I’m still mad that I didn’t discover her books until then – I would have adored them as a younger kid) I’ve made it my mission to read everything that she puts out.

If you’ve never heard of Diana, she wrote some of the funniest, cleverest fantasy around.  Howl’s Moving Castle – about a young girl cursed into becoming an old woman who then has a run-in with the supposedly terrifying Wizard Howl – is a great place to start.  And afterward you can watch Hayao Miyazaki’s animated movie based on the book, which makes some changes to the book’s plot but is equally funny and charming.  But I warn you: once you start with Howl, you won’t be able to stop until you’ve read every single book.

There are lots of great reminiscences of Diana Wynne Jones floating around the web already.  Author Neil Gaiman has a wonderful one, as does Robin McKinley.  Here’s the Guardian’s obituary for more information on her life and work.

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