Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Middle Grade Fantasy: First Lines

I've been loving Amparo's series on first lines in books. So I thought I'd chime in with my favorite area: Middle Grade Books. Middle Grade Fantasy, to be precise. Just so ya all know that our blog is not just a YA blog. We love all types of books. I don't have any insight because they are all so varied. So let me know what you think and which openings appealed to you most.

Opening Lines:

"Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood." Rick Rioddan, The Lightning Theif.

"Kendra stared out the side window of the SUV, watching foliage blur past." Brandon Mull, Fablehaven.

"Night lay upon the forest." Erin Hunter, Midnight (Warriors: The New Prophecy, Book 1).

"If someone had asked Jared Grace what jobs his brother and sister would have when they grew up, he would have had no trouble replying." Diterlizzi and Black, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 1.

"The sign in the front of St. Barnaby's Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten, and Lost read CRUSINNG THE SPIRIT OF CHILDHOOD SINCE 1898." Matt Myklusch, The Accidental Hero.

"As of today, there are only seven children who have ever read this book and lived to tell about it." Jennifer A. Nielsen, Elliot and the Goblin War.

"A thief is a lot like a wizard."  Sarah Prineas, The Magic Thief.

"You ready for this?"  Bryan Chick, The Secret Zoo.

"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

"The girl was shaken awake." John Stephens, The Emerald Atlas.

"It was early morning on Saturday, the sixteenth of December, the first day of the Christmas holidays." Linda Buckley-Archer, The Time Travelers.


  1. Since I've read just about all of the books above, I zeroed in on the book I hadn't read: "As of today, there are only seven children who have ever read this book and lived to tell about it." That line intrigues me enough to look for this book.

  2. Aww, I love the middle-grade love. :) I think Percy Jackson's first line is fabulous. I even read that opening aloud to my husband, I was so impressed (the whole first page). I also liked the line from The Magic Thief, but I've never read it. I think I just might.

    So I guess the ones that hooked me right away are my faves. I think that's what you have to do with middle-grade readers. HP is awesome, too, of course, but that goes without saying. Great post! I'm enjoying Amparo's series, too!

  3. I love reading first lines like this. Thanks for the examples!
    My fave of all these is the Percy Jackson one. It shows not only voice, but mystery.

  4. all great lines. i had to laugh at what you didn't include. i don't blame you.


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