Welcome to 'Fine Lines', the Friday feature in which we give a sentimental, sometimes-critical, far more wrinkled look at the children's and YA books we loved in our youth. This week, writer / reviewer / blogger Lizzie Skurnick rereads 'To All My Fans, With Love, From Sylvie', the 1982 story of Sylvie Krail, who hits the road for Hollywood with a hatbox and a dream.
I've always had a soft spot for Ellen Conford, one of the great unsung authors of the YA genre. (I'm not quite sure how you quantify "sung"ness, but let's start it at screaming when an author's name is mentioned, for one.) And why is she unsung? Because her novels, I think, are so skilled and vibrant, she's prey to the solid-A syndrome: so dependable, readers forget she even exists. By the time our daily reading has switched to matte-finish trade paperbacks, memory has already mistakenly shelved her work in with a favorite, showier author. (My particular mis-shelf is always to put And This is Laura, her teen-psychic foray, into the Lois Duncan section.)