Middle Grade Mondays: Homage to Anne McCaffrey (R.I.P. Nov 21, 2011)

There is some debate over whether Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon series were sci fi or fantasy (she says sci fi) or whether to classify her work for YA or adult. Regardless, she was an amazing writer. And for precocious 6th graders who love science fiction and fantasy, she’s often one of the authors picked up. I haven’t read any of her work since I was a teenager, and I’m sad it’s taken her death to remind me of how talented she was.

For women writers of sci fi / fantasy, she paved the way.


From an I09 article by Charlie Jane Anders:

Anne McCaffrey wasn’t just the inventor of Pern, the world where a whole society is based on dragon-riding. She was also an incredibly influential author who helped transform the way science fiction and fantasy authors wrote about women, and the way all of us thought about bodies and selfhood. She was the first woman to win a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award, as well as a Grand Master of science fiction.

The woman published over 80 books in 45 years. (you do the math, that’s incredible)

For those middle graders out there I’d recommend:

Fantasy for “juveniles”

No One Noticed the Cat

If Wishes Were Horses

For Upper Middle Grade and YA:

the Acorna series

And everyone’s favourites (there are 26 of them in the series, but some are written by her son):

The Dragonriders of Pern series

If you’re going to pick up any McCaffrey, the Dragonriders series is always suggested. Some adults don’t enjoy the other two series mentioned above, but that may be because they were expecting something more mature like her other work.

Happy Middle Grade Monday . . . and now back to the last 1,000 words on my NaNo!

For other MGMers, see my list HERE


  1. Pamela Thomson Torres
    Nov 28, 2011

    Great tribute. I haven’t read any of her books but my husband loved her books and has several on our shelf. He read the Dragonriders of Pern.

  2. @Pamela I think that’s her most well-known series. I think I only read a few of them myself, but now I want to go back and see if they stand the test of time.

  3. julietkachyk
    Nov 28, 2011

    I loved her Pern books, but two of the series I kept going back to are the Crystal Singer trilogy and her series that started with The Rowan (I don’t believe the series ever got a name, and I can’t think of one that doesn’t limit the series unacceptably in my mind). She was the first sci-fi author I ever read and to this day, I still find myself going back and enjoying so many of her older books. They still set fire to my imagination as much as when I was 12, when they were new to me. A great light has gone out, but her books remain to give us comfort and joy.

  4. akossket
    Nov 29, 2011

    I’m hunting down The Dragonriders of Pern series. It definitely sound like something I would enjoy to read and re-read.
    I hope you made it through the finish line for Nanowrimo. I reached my word count last night 🙂

  5. @juliekachyk – The Rowan is from her Tower and Hive series, but I haven’t read that or her Cystal Singer trilogy. I’m going to have to do that.

    Hey, maybe we should have an Anne McCaffrey reading challenge for 2012, lol. Read 10 books by her for the new year.

    Akossket – I’m less than 1,000 words! I’ve had to work late yesterday and will today as well, but aching to finish!

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