Monday, March 05, 2012

Top 10 villains in children's books

Derek Landy spends his time complaining about blogs and writing the Skulduggery Pleasant series- which includes Skulduggery Pleasant, known as Scepter of the Ancients in the US, Playing With Fire, The Faceless Ones, Dark Days and Mortal Coil. He doesn’t like to brag about all the awards he’s won, such as the Irish Book of the Decade, or the Red House in the UK, or all the other awards that he humbly displays on his mantelpiece. He is also far too modest to mention things like the first book being a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and a selection of Oprah’s Book Club Kids Reading List.

For the Guardian, he named a top ten list of "the most dastardly and devious villains in children's books," including:
Dolores Umbridge (the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling)

Here we are, at number 10, with the most hateful of all the villains on this list. I would rate Dolores a more potent bad guy than even He Who Must Not Be Named, because she is a villain who can also exist in the real world. She's that passive-aggressive, condescending, patronising, conservative old witch that we've all met in our lives and had to bite our tongues whenever she simpers. One of Rowling's greatest triumphs is to make this odious little woman live and breathe. I can remember reading those pages and feeling my hate for her burn and grow. She loves pink cardigans and pictures of kittens and oh, how she loves her rules...
Read about another villain on the list.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone also appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best owls in literature, ten of the best scars in fiction and ten of the best motorbikes in literature, and Charlie Higson's top 10 list of fantasy books for children, Justin Scroggie's top ten list of books with secret signs as well as Charlie Jane Anders and Michael Ann Dobbs's list of well-known and beloved science fiction and fantasy novels that publishers didn't want to touch. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire made John Mullan's list of ten best graveyard scenes in fiction.

The Harry Potter books made Alison Flood's list of the top 10 most frequently stolen books.

--Marshal Zeringue