Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Oh, hey, this is sad —

Margaret Mahy passed away yesterday.

Mahy wrote THE CHANGEOVER, which is one of my all-time favorite YA titles. I read it and her other books pretty recently, well, years ago but certainly as an adult. She wrote beautiful family relationships into her stories.

The boy in this story is not a ghost, despite the way he seems to be translucent. And though this story IS a romance, it is so much more — the most important relationship is between the girl and her little brother, and the relationships between parents and children are also very important and beautifully drawn.

Mahy’s first book came out roughly when I was born and her last one this year, which is pretty amazing. I haven’t read all of her books, not by a long shot, but THE CATALOG OF THE UNIVERSE is also excellent, and again it’s the family relationships that make it stand out. It barely has a fantasy element to it — in fact, really I’m not sure it has any fantasy element at all; I’d really call that one contemporary. But wonderful! If, like me, you don’t ordinarily reach for contemporary YA, well, you’d be missing out to skip this one.

If you’ve never read anything by Mahy, now might be a good time. I think I’ll pick up another one or two by her today, in memoriam.

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