Moving to GrantGoodmanBooks.com!

Hello loyal readers!

I’m writing this post to let you know that from here on out, November Notebook will not be updating anymore.

My YA posts will now be appearing on my official author website, along with updates on the progress of my second novel, Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in…Robot Rumble!

I’ll be keeping the domain for a while longer, but you’ll always be able to find all of the archived November Notebook posts hosted on my official author site.

My 5 Favorite Lines from Looking for Alaska by John Green

This is tough to do, but after combing through my copy of Looking for Alaska, here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1. At some point, you just pull off the Band-Aid and it hurts, but then it’s over and you’re relieved.
  2. In the dark beside me, she smelled of sweat and sunshine and vanilla, and on that thin-mooned night I could see little more than her silhouette…
  3. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating.
  4. For a moment, it was so quiet that you could hear the sound of not-breathing, the vacuum created by 190 students shocked out of air.
  5. “At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze…”

Go here and here for more amazing quotes from YA novels!

The Staying Power of John Green’s Novels

A quick glance at this week’s New York Times list of best-selling YA titles will make one thing very, very clear: John Green’s books have been on there for a long, long time.

At number one is Paper Towns, which has remained on the list for an absolutely amazing 116 weeks! (And, being honest here, it’s one of his that I haven’t read, but I do have a handful of students currently carrying it around).

But even more awesome is the fact that both The Fault in Our Stars AND Looking for Alaska have charted for 130 consecutive weeks. I know a lot of people felt that after the movie had come out, the sales would decline, but here we are over a year later and it is STILL on the list.

Finding Friends in Fiction

Written by Grant Goodman, 5/14/2015

For many of us, writing comes from frustration and disappointment. We don’t like what our world has to offer. We are haunted by past decisions. We look back at our ever-growing pile of mistakes and wish that somehow we could make them into something better.

I think that many YA authors still remember those scars and, with the perspective that comes with adulthood, they recognize how universal those growing pains are. I really, really wish that more people were like our YA authors. I think that far too often adults overlook the importance of empathy. Yes, it is easy to look at the problems that teens face and outright dismiss them. But that totally misses the point.

This is why good YA lit is absolutely vital. We need stories out there that offer a window into teenage life that teens themselves can recognize as authentic. One of the biggest crises of my youth was thinking that no one else understood what I was going through, not even my friends.

I found friends in fiction, Holden Caulfield, Ender Wiggins and Harry Potter standing at the lead of the pack.

I didn’t have a rich YA landscape, though. I had already jumped into Dragonlance and Stephen King which mostly featured adults.

I’m curious: who are the YA characters you have found yourself identifying with?

My First Novel is Out!!!!!

Hello, readers!

My very first novel, AGENT DARCY AND NINJA STEVE IN…TIGER TROUBLE! is now available on Amazon! It’s available in paperback and on Kindle.

It’s a story about secret agents, ninjas, robots, and ghosts. So if you understand that spin kicks, spy tech, and ghosts are awesome, then this is the book for you, no matter how old you are!

Cassandra Clare on Strong Characters and Where She Gets Her Ideas

This interview from Cosmo Girl isn’t exactly new (it was done after City of Bones but before City of Glass) but it has some really great insights from one of YA’s most talented authors, Cassandra Clare.

My favorite part is:

I hope the fact that Clary is a smart, strong girl who faces down her fears will make readers think, She gets scared just like I would, but she still fights for what she believes in. And I hope it might even help them believe that they don’t have to be perfect to fight for what’s important to them.

Click that quote above for the link to the article!

My First Book is Out on May 4th!

Hello, readers!

On May 4th, 2015, my very first novel will be available on Amazon!

I cannot wait for you to be able to read Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in…Tiger Trouble!

It’s a story about ninjas, secret agents, ghosts, robots, and adventure. You’ll find spin kicks, sword slashes, and sneakery. There are rivalries, old grudges, and romances.

I suppose it’s aimed at a 10-14 year old audience, but I honestly think it’s suitable for anyone who still remembers how to be an imaginative kid at heart. So, let’s say it’s for ages 8 to 800.

Head on over to my official website for more info AND a free 50 page sample!

Here are the cover images:

tiger trouble back cover author name on spine

Guest Post on Shannon A. Thompson’s Blog!

Hey readers! I wrote a piece for YA author Shannon A. Thompson’s blog. (And she wrote a super-awesome intro for me! Thank you, Shannon!)

How many of you out there read RL Stine’s Goosebumps books at some point in your life?

A lot of you?

Awesome. Then you’ll love this article.

Here’s a quick excerpt/link:

Most of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books left me terrified.

I remember how Night of the Living Dummy made me afraid to get up in the middle of the night because I knew that Slappy would be sitting at the top of the steps, waiting for me. I’ll never forget that moment when I hit the end of Stay Out of the Basement and the big twist made my stomach feel like it was full of ice. These books left me scarred, because even though I knew they were fiction, they took root in my mind and always threatened to crawl off the page and into reality.

For some reason, though, I kept reading them.

Know Your YA History: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Written by Grant Goodman, 4/8/2015

Dark YA starts with William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the tale of a plane full of boys that crash-lands on an island. The only adult (the pilot) is killed on impact and the kids are left to fend for themselves. What follows is a tale of adolescents torn between holding onto order and letting themselves become wild beasts.

If you enjoyed The Hunger Games for its starkly brutal critique of what war does to children, then you’ll find yourself swept away by Lord of the Flies.

The boys make early attempts at sticking together. They try to establish rules and they try to look out for the youngest kids of the bunch. But the longer they are there, the more they give in to their darker urges. Their clans split and they find themselves in a power struggle with one another.

Packs of boys become hunters and they are overtaken by bloodlust. They paint their faces for the hunt and in doing so, they change into catastrophically evil versions of themselves. The peaceful kids are trampled on (figuratively) or outright murdered (literally).

Like many popular YA stories, (catching) fire plays an important recurring role. First, fire is a way of signaling for rescue. Throughout the novel, though, the fire goes out or it burns too low, which is a fantastic symbol for the boys losing their connection to the rest of human society. At the very end, fire is turned into a destructive force, meant to force one of the boys out of hiding and into the waiting ambush of those who wish to kill him.

While Lord of the Flies isn’t necessarily classified as YA, it’s a novel about young adults and their tendencies and urges. When it was first published, it pushed the boundaries of violence and despair and decades later it remains as a milestone moment for books about young adults.