Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Author Review: Robin McKinley

I asked my oldest daughter last week which author I should include in the next newsletter and she immediately replied with, “Robin McKinley.” We first learned about Robin McKinley from the Sonlight Curriculum catalog. Her book Beauty is a reader for the eighth year. We’ve both read it twice now and it’s a keeper. (“Keeper” = a book we don’t sell after eading it!)

Robin (Jennifer Carolyn) McKinley was born on November 16, 1952, in Warren, Ohio. Her father was in the U.S. Navy and Merchant Marines and her mother was a teacher.  McKinley was an only child and a self-described “military brat” who moved every two years with her family, from California to Japan to New York. Books were a refuge for her and she “decided early on that books were much more reliable friends than people.”

Soon she decided that she would be an author like J. R. R. Tolkien or H. Rider Haggard when she grew up. Except she would write stories about girls.

McKinley graduated summa cum laude from Bowdain College. Not long after that she saw an adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” on television. She was so disappointed in the story she decided to rewrite it herself. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast was the result.Amazingly, this was her first book, written at age 24, and still her most popular.