Wednesday 5 November 2014

YA A to Z: Stephanie Burgis

I love the idea of the Teen Librarian Toolbox YA A to Z, so while I had another post half-written, I'm going to sneak one in about one of my favourite authors here instead.

Stephanie Burgis mainly writes MG, but I'll justify her inclusion as a few of her shorts would be classed as YA. My favourite of them is The Unladylike Education of Agatha Tremain, a story of forbidden romance and magic in Victorian England, which can be read here.

Cinderella-inspired short story The Wrong Foot is another fantastic one which can be read here, while there's a full list with links to lots of other's on Stephanie's website.

As good as her YA writing is, though, it's her MG series that has completely captured my heart. The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson have my favourite heroine in years, possibly ever - a magic-wielding twelve-year-old who's devoted to her sisters and is bold, confident and resourceful. Set in Regency England with magic, they've been described as Jane Austen meets Tiffany Aching (Terry Pratchett's young witch) - fab review here of book 1 from my fellow reviewer at The Bookbag, Linda Lawlor.

While Kat takes centre stage, her family are also fantastic. Her clergyman father is rather vague at times but comes through when it's needed, her Step-mama (who I have a rather huge crush on) is a layered character who I always think is trying to do what she feels is best, even if Kat strongly disagrees. And her siblings - older sisters Elissa and Angeline and gambling brother Charles - are brilliantly portrayed and the combination of their love for, and exasperation with, each other is a joy to read.

As well as the original trilogy, Stephanie recently released a follow-up novella, Courting Magic, which sees Kat ready to enter society at the age of 18. It was one of my most anticipated books of the year and definitely didn't disappoint - it's wonderful to see how she's matured without losing any of the charm of her first three appearances.

In addition to being a brilliant writer, Stephanie is fantastic on Twitter and has a fabulous blog at her website.

(Oh, one more thing - fellow fans of Kat have a bit over a week to pre-order a mug created by the hugely talented Sally Thompson on Etsy! Click here to buy.

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