I don’t really know beans about YA fiction, though as my son Max approaches the magic of twelve, I bet I will soon be learning. One of my friends, the novelist Rochelle Jewell Shapiro (Miriam the Medium) recently gave me a just finished draft of a fantasy adventure she’s written called Altivar, the Quest. I wasn’t sure how to read it or what to say—but within sentences, I was enthralled. How could you not fall in love with a story about a moody Prince who befriends a fool, a marauder, and (my favorite) a highly intelligent rabbit named Rowena? It’s really a book about the ties that bind families and the bonds of shared experience that create new ones.