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Susan

Did Duncan herself want to update the book or did her publisher suggest it?

Back in the 90s I was in a writing group with someone who was working on a YA novel set in the 70s. Any agent she approached resisted a time frame that wasn't a contemporary one because it "wouldn't be relevant to the reader."

I'd thought we'd gotten beyond that nonsense by now. You'd think a proven writer like Duncan wouldn't be subjected to it, at any rate!

Amy Rea

The interview isn't clear on whose idea it was, but I'm with you. It shouldn't be an issue. I think teen readers can handle it. I could, back in the day. I loved reading books set at some point in history other than my own.

Buried In Print

Oh, interesting! I'd vaguely registered the updating (I think I read about it on the back of one of the reissued paperbacks that have started appearing in the public library) but thought it had been more pervasive. As you've described, it changes the characters' world views, not just what they carry in their backpacks and pockets. Sheesh.

I re-read Five Go Missing (Ransom) a couple of years ago and was surprised to find that it held up, in a page-turning way, too. Without technology. Sure, the kids said things like "Gee" and there was a slightly old-fashioned feel to those bits, but it read very well. I re-read Down a Dark Hall, too, but not, A Gift of Magic, which was the first of hers that I ever read. I'll look forward to your thoughts on how it holds up!

Amy Rea


Buried, A Gift of Magic is coming up shortly! The un-updated version.

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