Over on child_lit, Cheryl Klein has been asking for titles of books with big reveals, the ones with a surprise that make you rethink the whole thing. Like Gone Girl, The Thief, and most of Robert Cormier. I contributed Gene Kemp’s The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler, the 1977 Carnegie-winning title about an obstreperous but goodhearted kid about whom something is revealed only on the last page. (Interestingly, it’s a surprise that only dates the book today.)
Reviewers HATE these books, and it only gets worse as our reviews get disseminated to a wider audience, not just professionals selecting books for other readers, but readers themselves. I think I told you about the trouble we got in when a YA writer complained all over Twitter that the Horn Book review of her book gave away the surprise. (When I queried the reviewer about it, she said “That was the surprise?” Ouch.) And now in preparation for a Talks With Roger interview I’m reading Ilsa J. Bick‘s White Space, which is crawling with these suckers. Crawling. I guess they can’t all be The King Died and the Queen Died of Grief.