Diana Wynne Jones.

Chatterbox: Down to Earth

Diana Wynne Jones.

Diana Wynne Jones.

If any of you know her name, I applaud you.

She was an author. She was born on August 16, 1934.

The most likely thing you've heard of her work is Howl's Moving Castle. And not her book, but the movie adaption. The movie, a Studio Ghibli movie, is beautiful. But it doesn't capture her characters.

Why am I writing about her?

Because the world needs to remember her. She and Tolkien, (yes, I put her up there with Tolkien) were the pioneers of the Fantasy genre as we know it today. I'm not saying that there weren't fairy tales or fantasy novels before them, but we would not be reading what we read today.

But her son said that she wouldn't want to be remembered for allowing Harry Potter to be published.

He didn't talk about what she would want to be remembered for.

She knew what she wanted, and every single time, she fought for it, and got it. Until cancer beat her. She died March 26, 2011.

And she wrote, and wrote, and wrote. And most of her books are amazing. I personally have only found five or so which I have disliked. And she wrote more than 40 books for children.

And there is hardly a 'trope' or 'cliche' in her books. Each one is unique and memorable, and you appreciate it, even if you didn't like the book.

I urge you to go to your library as soon as you can, and find a book by her. I would recommend any of the Chrestomanci books, Howl's Moving Castle, the Merlin Conspiracy, Fire And Hemlock, Dark Lord of Derkholm or it's sequel, The Year of The Griffin. Honestly most of her books. (Her short stories can get odd, and some of the things referenced in some aren't appropriate for all ages, but they are short, and easy to overlook. Still, I would ask a parent first.)


submitted by Remember
(May 13, 2019 - 5:37 am)

I. Didn't know she was dead. What.

She is (was? I can't believe she's dead- I mean she's been dead for as long as I've been reading her books but still) a really good author, though. 

What's your favorite book by her? Mine's Dogsbody, or maybe Howl's Moving Castle. Tale of Time City is also good, but not as much. Dogsbody hurt my heart.

submitted by Blue Moon, age 12, Here
(May 13, 2019 - 10:53 pm)

That's exactly how I feel. Her Reflections book is interesting; you might enjoy it, it's nonfiction/autobiography~ish

My favorite is Fire And Hemlock, although Howl's Moving Castle & it's sequels are very good. I've honestly enjoyed everything of her's I've read except for The Magicians of Caprona, but that's not bad, I just didn't like it and I don't know why.

What books of her's have you read? 

submitted by Remember
(May 14, 2019 - 6:31 am)

Hang on. Diana Wynne Jones didn't write the Harry Potter series; J. K. Rowling did. So how could she have prevented it from being published? (Also, not wanting to be remembered for something isn't the same as not wanting to be remembered at all.)

Also also, Diana Wynne Jones is awesome. Do you like Howl's Moving Castle, House of Many Ways or The Castle in the Air best? I'm split between the first two. Heh, I remember being so shocked when I learned that Howl's Moving Castle had sequels... and so excited when I noticed things that Ghibli pulled from them. 

submitted by Viola?, age Secret, Secret
(May 14, 2019 - 6:58 am)

I'm not saying that she wrote Harry Potter. But because Diana Wynne Jonnes was a primary pioneer of the fantasy genre (and stayed away from tropes, sticking only with original ideas) this helped Harry Potter in the end. If it had not been for her, it would likely have made it much harder for Harry Potter to be published., as genre-crossing was considered improper ('against the rules', by this term I am referring to an unspoken set of rules which are constantly changing which seem to dictate how fantasy ought to be.) at the time. As you know, as a fan, many of her books have sci-fi, realism, or horror elements to them. And, as you also know, Harry Potter would have been considered genre blending, as it is both a school story and a fantasy story.

I probably like Howl's Moving Castle best with House of Many Ways as a close second. I love Charmain, and Twinkle ("Fank you," Twinkle said devoutly) very much, along with the idea of how the book started and the house and food inside it.

submitted by Remember
(May 14, 2019 - 6:09 pm)