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Third person MG with great voice?

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It seems much easier to find voice in first person books, but I want to write mine in close third and wanted your opinions.


What are your recommendations for a strong, third person, middle grade voice?
#1 - December 05, 2013, 09:03 AM

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Roald Dahl's books, Linda Sue Park's A Single Shard, Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl, several of Katherine Paterson's books all come to mind.
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#2 - December 05, 2013, 10:14 AM
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Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo...Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan...The Center of Everything by Linda Urban
#4 - December 05, 2013, 10:47 AM
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Judy Moody. Love her.
#5 - December 05, 2013, 11:05 AM

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The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver.
#6 - December 05, 2013, 02:15 PM
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I'm going through the same thing. It does seem easier to find voice in the first person. I'm stepping back and rewriting a few chapters in third to get the feel and "sound" of it.  Some have said to let the story decide. Not sure what that means, exactly. Except perhaps to see which of the two comes across as more authentic and fresh.
#7 - December 11, 2013, 11:55 AM

Roald Dahl's books (any of 'em) and Harry Potter are good resources to study how 3rd person, great voice is done.

I used to prefer writing in 1st person POV, until one day I realized I prefer READING 3rd person POV! So why the heck wasn't I writing in 3rd person?! It was my aha! moment. I had an entire MG adventure manuscript written in 1st person, and I rewrote the thing in 3rd person limited. Man, oh man, did that feel better! The writing seemed more natural, I wasn't loathing myself as much, and I started receiving better feedback in critique sessions.

My advice? Make a list of what you like to read. Do you lean toward one type of narrative POV? Keep on reading! And then, write what you like to read!
#8 - December 11, 2013, 12:15 PM

The Hardpan Trilogy (starting with Newbery winner THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY) by Susan Patron.
#9 - December 11, 2013, 12:44 PM
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2018, Talking to the Moon (MG)
2018, A Halifax Time-Travelling Tune (PB)
2016, Sky Pig (PB)
2015, The King of Keji
2014, Rocket Man

A few that I've enjoyed in 3rd:
The Penderwicks
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
#10 - December 11, 2013, 02:59 PM
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So many great recs here! I'll add the Ivy and Bean books by Annie Barrows. And I second The Penderwicks!
#11 - December 11, 2013, 06:50 PM

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I love third person and if you use third person personal it can be every bit as effective as first person.

Stella
#12 - December 12, 2013, 05:07 PM

Thanks for all the great recommendations everyone! Harry Potter is at the top of my list of course, but there are several I'm not familiar with yet. My TBR pile is growing.  :grin3
#13 - December 15, 2013, 11:31 AM

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
#14 - January 15, 2014, 07:42 AM

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A few of my favorites spring immediately to mind:

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of A Tree, by Lauren Tarshis
Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love, by Lauren Tarshis
Wringer, by Jerry Spinelli
Holes, by Louis Sachar
#15 - January 26, 2014, 04:54 PM

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I just read Anne Ursu's THE REAL BOY & thought the voice was great. :)
#16 - January 26, 2014, 05:04 PM
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I just mentioned Maniac Magee in another thread. It's my nine year old's favorite book.
#17 - January 26, 2014, 05:52 PM
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Jeanne DuPrau's THE CITY OF EMBER has a wonderful and unusual 3P voice that gets right into the mind of the MC.
#18 - January 29, 2014, 09:07 PM
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Clementine.
#19 - January 30, 2014, 06:21 PM
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I agree that Clementine has an AWESOME voice, but I think Jay is looking for 3rd person, not 1st. The Clementine series is a family favorite!

I think Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book has a really interesting voice -- a very wild mix of creepy, suspenseful, funny and warm.

Elizabeth
#20 - January 31, 2014, 10:18 AM
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COUNTING BY 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan is a great example. It alternates point of view between several characters. The main character is told in first person, but 5 other characters are told in 3rd person close. Excellent book.
#21 - February 01, 2014, 05:04 AM
FLYING THE DRAGON (Charlesbridge, 2012)
A LONG PITCH HOME (Charlesbridge, 2016)

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DOLL BONES by Holly Black is third person.
#22 - February 27, 2014, 12:53 PM
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Patricia Reilly Giff 's books  -- such as ELEVEN
#23 - February 27, 2014, 03:21 PM

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