Friday, 16 October 2009

Friday Flavor (2) Lara Zielin Talks About Her All Time Favorite Book

Friday Flavour is back ^^ this week is a little special because our guest will not talk about a recently read that she adores, but a book that has always been on her mind. Have a book that you can read over and over and over without getting tired of it? Lara has one too! Here's her story:

Recently I took a writing sabbatical where I went to my childhood home in Wisconsin and shut out the world while I wrote and edited for two weeks. While I was there, my mom asked if I would go through some of my old stuff and either keep it or toss it. While pilfering through old photos, notes, letters and books, I came across my childhood copy of WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS. There’s not much of a spine left on it, and the pages are pretty yellow, but I love it.

WTRFG is the story of a boy, Billy, and his struggle to acquire and train two hunting dogs: Dan and Ann. When they become champion hunters, it changes the life of Billy and his impoverished farming family. The plot sounds ridiculously simple but the story is truly deep and meaningful. I read and re-read WTRFG countless times growing up. The book's lessons of faith, hard work, and loyalty still stick with me today.

Wilson Rawls, author of WTRFG has an amazing personal story as well. Like his main character Billy, he grew up poor without much of an education. Wilson didn't consider himself a writer, even though he loved the craft. He let his spelling and grammar errors keep him from showing his work to anyone for a long time. It wasn’t until his wife, who had editing experience, helped him with his work and encouraged him to show it to others that he became serious about publication. He credits her with the success of WTRFG.

My old dog-eared book (no pun intended) is great, but I think the cover art is especially good on this version, because the dogs are actually red-bone hounds. In Borders, a friend and I stumbled across the updated cover and noted one of the dogs looks like a a blue-tic, the other a blood hound. You can see the new cover here:

If you haven't picked up WTRFG, I can't recommend it enough. By read it, let me know how you like it! today's standards it starts out a bit slowly, but the story itself won't disappoint. And if you do

Apparently Lara didn't want to steal the spotlight, but you can still see her thumb in the picture :)

Any of the readers has read WTRFG? Share your thoughts on it with us and Lara. I'm going to read this one soon when I have a chance. I love anything that involves dogs.


As promised, FF is not just about sharing your craziness about a book but also spreading the joy of reading with giveaways. Lara didn't have any copy of WTRFG to give away, but, fortunately she does have a copy of her own book Donut Days for one lucky commenter. Comment on with your contact information and you could be the owner of DD this time next week!

For extra entries:

+1 if you tell me Lara you favorite YA book and WHY (remember the WHY part cos Lara "demanded" it)
+2 if you follow my blog
+2 if you comment on my review of Donut Days
+3 if you follow Lara on Twitter @Larazielin
+5 if you spread the word of the giveaway.

This contest is open to everyone and will end on 29th Oct.

Happy reading FF and good luck~!


debbie said...

great contest !!! i wonder if i join this contest, will i win ?? haizzz

tetewa said...

I'm enjoying Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampire series!

Marjolein said...

would love to enter, thanks!
marjoleinbookblog a

Sara said...

My favorite YA novel is Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I just think it is the perfect book! There was romance, friendship, a mystery... I sobbed when I finished it. It was emotionally draining and so beautiful... Gah. Love it!

+2 blog follower
+3 follow Lara on Twitter (@thehidingspot)
+5 linked to sidebar @


pirate penguin said...

+1 a favorite YA book? ummm...
+2 follower
+2 commented on your review!
+3 if you follow Lara on Twitter @Larazielin
+5 I linked the contest in my sidebar

thanks for the giveaway! I'd love to read this :)


pirate penguin said...

Oh jeez! I forgot to give you a favorite book!

One that I never get tired of reading is Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (I hope I spelled her name right....). It's just one of those books that are magical :)

holdenj said...

A YA series I never tire of is Harry Potter. There was just something about discovering each one as they were released, it's hard to duplicate that exictment, you know?

Rebecca said...

Great contest.

+1 My favourite YA book is Peeps by Scott Westerfeld because it is a really unique storyline and puts vampires in an interesting light.

+2 I am now a follower

+2 I commented on your review of Donut Days.

~JoRdAn~ said...

+1 My favorite YA novel as of right now is The Summoning because it was just plain AMAZING!!
+2 if you follow my blog
+2 commented on review of donut days
+3 Following on twitter @jmoose09
+5 added to sidebar

Alessandra said...

Wow, very cool contest.

+1 My favourite YA novel of all times is Very Far Away From Anywhere Else by Ursula K Le Guin. It's a bit of an old book, as it came out before I was even born (late Seventies, I think), but still great. I love it because the main character, Owen, is very much like me. Only, you know, male.

+2 I'm now a follower of your blog.

+2 commented on your review

+3 I'm now following lara on Twitter (I'm alessandra83)


Andrea said...

Please enter me
+1 my favorite YA read would have to be any of the Harry Potter books, I never get tired of them.

deltay said...

Awesome contest, please enter me as well :) Thanks


Bethie said...

My fav YA novel is Twilight. Its the kind of book you keep thinking about long after you put it down.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Ashley said...

Please enter me, thanks!

+1 One of my favorite YA books is The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. I love how it's written and the plot is so creative.
+2 I follow your blog.
+2 Commented on your review.
+3 I follow Lara on twitter @booksobsession.
+5 Posted on my sidebar at

Milka said...

+2 I follow the blog


Mrs. F-B's Books Blog said...

I'd love to win this for my library!
+1 My fave YA book is The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. So many good truths for young and old(er) readers
+2 follower
+3 commented on your review

edmontonjb said...

This looks like fun book. Please enter me

Icejewel said...

My favorite YA book..Gosh its difficult to tell, I love many of them.But to say, I love Twilight a lot.I was completely drowned in the book.It really gave me unexpected hopes..he he :)

Please enter me, icejew at gmail dot com

I have posted the contest on my sidebar

I'm a follower now.

Thanks for the contest.

Steph Su said...

Oh jeez, how can I possibly choose just one favorite? It's not strictly YA, but I absolutely fell in love with Poison Study by Maria Snyder this year. The strong female protagonist, the memorable romance, the protag's cleverness, and the unique world all add up to the perfect book. Yes, it's THAT good. :)

I follow you of course, and I follow Lara on Twitter, and I've linked to you in my sidebar!

stephxsu at gmail dot com

Mariah said...

Awesomeness! Would loooove to win this book!

+1 favorite YA book and why: Well, it's actually a series, but I love the bookes Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras by Scott Westerfeld. I like them because they are sci-fi, without being too crazy.

+3 I followed Lara on Twitter! My username is @MusingsOfAGirl


oO Mariana Oo said...

+1 My Favorite YA Books this year is 13 reasons why by Jay Asher because is a great book talking about an important subject and well written.
+2 Im following your blog
+2 commented on review of Donut Days
+3 Im following Lara on Twitter (@Libelula89)
+5 Tweeted:


Strangelove said...

Hi there!
Count me in, please!

carlos_durao AT hotmail DOT com

My favorite YA book is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
It's told in such an original way, and it's main character is absolutely a brilliant piece of imagination!

Edu Chico said...

i'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman, so my favorite YA book is Coraline!

educhico AT gmail DOT com

Jafantunes said...

I love "American Born Chinese".
It talks about such great themes with such a sensitive manner.
And the artwork, specially the one copying chinese classic art is amazing!

jafantunes AT sapo DOT pt

Shadowofwonder47 said...

This sounds like an absolutely awesome book! Please enter me.

+1 My favorite YA book would be Night World series by L. J. Smith, because there’s lots of cute romance, because the characters don’t always start out good (it’s boring when you read a book that’s all fluff and perfection) and it resolves around a variety of supernatural creatures, not just vampires. Not to mention, it’s got an awesome plot!

+2 Became a follower!

+2 Commented on the review of Donut Days

+3 Became a follower of larazielin on twitter! (My username is Shadowofwonder)

+5 Posted about this contest with a link on my sidebar at


Cavalier said...

His Dark Materials
It's a great series that can be read as a great adventure and then evolve with it for with age comes a better understanding of the rich subtext.

o_rei_de_havana AT hotmail DOT com

MariaD said...


The Outsiders has always been my YA favorite.
It's so pungent and so real, so emotional and cruel.
It's a lesson about life itself!

Caty said...

The Hunger Games is my current favorite.
It has such a great and powerful premise and it explores the kids as full spectrum characters!

catarina [.] magoito [at] gmail [.] com

Susy said...

The Little Prince is a classic of pure emotion!
I will love it for as long as I live!
I will read it to any children I can and offer to all young adults I discover that haven't read it!

39.susy AT

Mil said...

The Diary of Anne Frank.
It's real, it's powerful and it teaches about what can't be forgotten in the most capable and refressing way!

goncalo DOT mil AT gmail DOT com

J Dias said...

The best YA book is the one that gets my kids to read something new.
At this point it's Twilight and Harry Potter.
In the future I hope it's something else.

Best wishes!

joanapatriciadias AT gmail DOT com

Tanita said...

What is, in fact, a YA novel?
For instance, the great classic that is "To Kill a Mockingbird " is considered a YA novel.
But it is a novel that anyone at any age must read!
That's why I choose it!

tanitalves [@]

throuthehaze said...

Count me in please

+1 My favorite Ya book (well, actually my fave series because I can't narrow it down to only 1 book in the series) is....The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. I enjoy her unique take on vampires and I really connected with her characters.

+2 new follower

+2 commented on review

+3 following Lara on twitter @throuthehaze

throuthehaze at gmail dot com