We remember the books of our childhood with fondness and nostalgia. The authors who wrote them feel almost like old friends, their words always ready and waiting for you when you want them. But have you ever wondered what it would be like if those authors wrote for a more grownup audience? Here’s a list of five adult books by beloved children’s authors.
1. In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
For many, Blume’s books were a staple of life in early years. Her tales and her characters are relate-able, perfect for those pre-adolescent years when many of us needed something to relate to.
This book is just as grounded in reality, in the intricacies of interpersonal relationships, and questions of social norms. The story revolves around a small New Jersey community in which three planes went down in three months, (which really happened, by the way,) and is rife with different characters and points of view. An intriguing, grown up Judy Blume story.
2. The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler
Many of you will remember Daniel Handler as Lemony Snicket’s less mysterious, more easily photographed representative. But did you know that they are, in fact, the same person?
Shocking, I know. Handler has written several books for adults, none of which feature orphans or alliterative appellations, but which are worth checking out all the same. His first novel for adults centers around Flannery Culp as she navigates the treacherous waters of chemistry, relationships, and murder.
3. Plugged (Daniel McEvoy #1) by Eoin Colfer
The titular character of Colfer’s children’s series was a boy ingenious who always had an answer for everything, even fairies.
Dan McEvoy, the protagonist of Colfer’s adult crime series, doesn’t have it quite as together. McEvoy is an Irish ex-pat who becomes a bouncer at a seedy club in New Jersey. He falls for one of the hostesses there, who promptly gets murdered. Soon McEvoy is involved in a complicated mystery he doesn’t understand, involving crooked cops, the mob, and an absentee plastic surgeon.
4. The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith
Robert Galbraith is a fantastically successful writer who played a special role in the childhoods of many thousands of children. That’s because Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of one J.K. Rowling.
This book follows the titular, down and out Cormoran Strike, who lost a leg in Afghanistan and, as if that’s not bad enough, is now facing the ruin both of his love life, and his career as a private investigator. He’s called on to investigate the alleged suicide of a young model, known as The Cuckoo. There is no wand waving or silly incantations in this book, but it’s worth a read nonetheless.
5. Galatea by Philip Pullman
Philip Pullman is a master of allegory, but long before he was writing for children, he wrote Galatea, a surreal look at a strange corporate society. This piece of magical realism follows Martin Browning, whose wife has disappeared, as he embarks on strange and haunting adventures in the hopes of finding her.
Have fun rediscovering these authors!
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