Favourite Books – “Children’s”

Long time, no blog! I’ve had a very busy August, so I’m hoping to get back into posting here. At the suggestion of a friend (thanks, Kami!) I’m going to start things off with my some of my favourite books/authors. These things go hand in hand—my favourite books are written by my favourite authors! I’ll start with my top 3 “children’s” series (as in, aimed for younger audiences, that I still read, because books for kids are amazing), and maybe do my favourite fantasies and YA novels down the line.

So, without further ado, here’s a little summary of what makes these books and their author so special to me.

1. “The Oracle Trilogy” by Catherine Fisher

Mirany has a secret—even though she works as the Bearer to the God, she doesn’t believe he exists. But when she’s drawn into a complex plot to select the next Archon, the God on Earth, she has to confront her faith while struggling to maneuver around people much smarter than she is…

My all time favourite series by my all time favourite author. The Oracle has an amazing setting (a Greek/Egyptian mix, but still wholly its own), powerful yet weak gods, and clever mortals. I love how human every character feels, and how everyone has their own motivation—and how often those don’t match up. This story influenced how I could see gods as both characters on their own and impossible immortal deities. It’s touching and heartfelt and ranges on topics of faith, death, family, and love. I reread this series once a year.

Fisher, as with all her other books, has a haunting feeling to her words. The descriptions are simple, the themes complex, and they play off each other perfectly. It feels like a cold shiver running down my spine. I can’t help but be immersed in her worlds—and they are hers. She stakes her claim on every setting she makes, be it based in reality or on her own mind. Fisher’s voice is strong, and when I write I aim to have such a clear voice of my own.

2. “Chronicles of Ancient Darkness” by Michelle Paver

This series follows Torak, a young boy in a mythical Stone Age setting, as he works to defeat the evil Soul Eaters. Their goal is to harm the Forest, and Torak is the only one who can stop them, along with his friend Renn and spirit guide/pack brother, Wolf.

I love the combination of realism and magic in these books. Torak and Renn really grow as characters, and Wolf is always wonderfully playful, yet deeply mysterious. The books definitely gave me a better appreciation of the natural world and of family. The Soul Eaters are amazing and complex, and each twist, each new villain raises the stakes every time.

Paver’s writing is detailed without being overwhelming. She explains concepts clearly through her narration, immersing you in ancient times. The afterwards showing her research always captivate me—her dedication to accuracy and first hand research on everything from wolves to the Arctic set a precedent for being respectful and synthesizing what you learn. I don’t quite have the resources to world tour, but I definitely want to travel, so I can write and care like she does.

3. “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson has always had trouble staying in school—and then he learns why. A demi-god son of Poseidon, he has to travel to Camp Half Blood to train and be able to protect himself from a hoard of Greek monsters…and something even more deadly.

Percy Jackson is an amazing, fun series. The humour is hilarious, the characters lovable, the myths familiar enough to be enjoyable. I grew up on Greek myths and this gave them a lot more heart. I love how the world expands with the Roman gods, and then again with the Apollo series. Aside from the humour, there’s a lot of depth and sadness, fun preteen problems, and, of course, Nico, my favourite mess.

Riordan himself is a role model for me as a privileged author. I want to be as attentive to being inclusive as he is. Of course he hasn’t been perfect—but he has listened and continues to try his best. He uses his voice to support new authors of colour. I know I’m starting small, but remembering to help others along the way, and letting people see themselves in my works, is a goal I always keep in mind as I write.

Thanks for reading! I’m looking forward to writing more, both here and on my novel.

-ashe mocaw

photo is © me

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