This is a really fun MEME. I have been enjoying playing with book associations. Last month we started with Where Am I Now?, and this week we’re back with a new starting book!
Welcome back to #6degrees, the Six Degrees of Separation book MEME!
Each participant will take the same starting book and link it in any way they like to the next book, then the next… and see where the 6 degrees of separation ends up! I really enjoyed doing this last month, so let’s give it another go!
This month we’ll begin with a teen classic, The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.
The Outsiders is a book that I never read as a teenager. (I still haven’t read it.) Another book that I didn’t read as a teenager even though many people do is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Instead, I read TKAM as an adult, many (many) years later. Sadly, this was a classic book that I didn’t care much for. I’m glad I read it, but I didn’t really like it.
Another classic book that I read and didn’t like was Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. I remember the reading process for that one very clearly. My 6th grade English class all complained about the book and, instead of the usual everyone-for-themself reading method, our teacher allowed us to each read alternating chapters and then present mini chapter reviews in front of the class. We ended up being more involved in the reading of that book than the ones we didn’t complain about, and kudos to our teacher for letting us learn in alternate ways. It helped that we had a small class (6 or 8 kids) of AP students. We were allowed to do all sorts of things that I haven’t been allowed in any other class, including bringing in mugs and a water heater, and drinking hot tea and instant hot chocolate during class.
Which leads me to my next link: Sorcery and Cecelia: or the enchanted chocolate pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Carolyn Stevermer. Now, I’m sure the chocolate served in the titular chocolate pot was much nicer than the packets of instant cocoa that we drank in 6th grade English. Still, the one makes me think of the other. One of the things I love about Sorcery and Cecelia is how magic is added to our regular world. It’s only slightly hidden from the average non-magical person, but most people don’t have to deal with magic at all and can live their normal lives.
To hide magic more from the average person, we can look at J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or any of the books, really, but since I am linking here from the first book in a series, I decided to link to the first book in this series, too). The Harry Potter universe also adds magic to our real world, but in this case magic is (in theory) completely hidden from non-magic folk. Wizards who are born to non-wizards only find out about this magical world when they go to wizard school.
Another book that features a wizard school is By The Sword by Mercedes Lackey. Granted, the school is mostly shut down by the time this story begins, but the school was founded by a wizard (and a swordswoman) and taught magic (and combat). I really liked this and some of the other early Valdemar novels, but the thing I liked the best was the magical telepathic horses. I wanted a magical telepathic horse. Or one of the magical telepathic birds featured in other Valdemar books.
Or magical telepathic dragons. There are lots of dragons, of course, but my favorites are the dragons of Pern, which we are introduced to in Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight. As I’ve gotten older and more aware, I’ve seen more problems with the relationships McCaffrey wrote, but her dragons are still my favorite dragons ever. I suspect that no matter how my opinion of the rest of the books change, the parts with the dragons will still be magical to me.
And that’s my six links! Interestingly, while I didn’t read the “teen classic” that started this chain, I did read most of the books in the chain when I was a teenager.