Rowling Accepts Fan Fic

Rowling will not be suing George Lippert, author of a fan fiction 8th book in the Harry Potter series.  Rowling has stated that spin-offs are fine as long as they are not sold and it is made clear that she is not associated with the stories.  She also requested that they not contain racism or pornography. 

You can click here to see the Wikipedia entry on the Lippert book which is still hidden behind an elaborate website.  Wikipedia’s entry offers the passwords you will need to explore the site fully.

Giving Up the Ghost

Nominated for a 2007 Cybil in Fantasy/Science Fiction.

Giving Up the Ghost by Sheri Sinykin.

Davia is afraid of so much in her life when she leaves her native Wisconsin and heads down south to Louisiana with her mother and father.  Her mother recently survived cancer and now they are going to help with the hospice care of Davia’s elderly Aunt Mari.  Everything about the aging southern plantation frightens Davia, especially when she meets its resident ghost, Emilie.  As Davia is drawn deeper into the mystery of Emilie, she finds herself steadily overcoming her fears and facing the uncertainty in her life.

It is the characters of this story that really make it come alive.  Aunt Mari is often unlikable and scary, but readers will find themselves feeling an ever-growing bond with her just as Davia does.  Davia’s parents are complex, filtered by Davia’s perspective of them both.  Emilie is less frightening than petulant, making her an interesting ghostly figure.  But the real achievement is Davia herself, who has been masterfully crafted to be truly human and vivid.  Her character’s fears could have overwhelmed the writing, but Sinykin has managed to create a fearful character who discovers not only courage but also acceptance of uncertainty.  A strong message for readers.

Though Davia is 13 years old in the story, the book is more appropriate for elementary readers aged 10-12.  I recommend it for readers who enjoy ghost stories mixed with solid reality.