Letters From You!
I love to hear from you! Send me your reviews, stories, pictures or anything else you'd like to share and I'll post as many of them as I can on here. If you're sending a photograph of yourself, please ask an adult for permission first. And thank you - your letters really do make my day!
Storm, 12. NY. For TIME for Kids. Christopher Lane is an outcast. His mother pays little attention to him, and he has grown up feeling unwanted. But that changes when Christopher’s natural gifts are recognized by the prestigious Holt Academy. He finds out that he has special powers and learns how to utilize his gifts. Eventually, though, he faces great challenges. And if he wants to keep his new life, he will have to overcome them.
The characters are very believable. Readers will find Christopher Lane easy to relate to because of his reactions to situations and people. When Miss Sonata of the Holt Academy acknowledges his true potential, he is surprised and humbled that someone appreciates him. When he realizes that his teachers at the academy have faith in him, he starts to have faith in himself.
If you enjoy stories filled with mystery and suspense, then it is a must-have addition to your booklist.
From Juliet, aged 12. Palo Alto, CA.
I am a huge fan of The Ability. My parents couldn't get me to stop reading!
The first thing I love about The Ability is how you described the characters so vividly. Each one of them has a unique personality. In most books, there are a few main personalities: Nerd/Smart Person, Cool & Collected person, Bully/Thug, Brave & Intelligent hero, and lots of other average people. You re-imagined those over-used characters and made them your own. For example, instead of Rex just being the mean guy, you gave him a soft, nice side too. That made him a better, more complex character. Also, even though I haven't been in a situation as bad as Christopher's, I still felt his pain and loneliness. I really admire your ability to give the reader and the characters a connection.
You are also really good at describing settings in the story. I can picture Myers Holt as if I had been there myself. Wherever Chris went, whether it was his home, the department store, or the ice palace, you always made sure the reader knew what their surroundings looked like before plunging directly into the action. The reader could feel history in the various locations, even if you hadn't told them.
Next, I love how distinct the plot is. I haven't seen one other book with a plot even close to that of The Ability's. You have an awe-inspiring imagination. I would keep listing everything I love about The Ability, but you would be reading forever. I have one more thing to tell you before you can move on to the next email. I wanted to tell you how much you inspired me. Now I really want to try and write a story - without giving up (which usually happens). Thank you for writing an amazing story.
P.S. I can't wait for the sequel!
From Shrinidhi, aged 11. London, UK.
The Ability is superb. I can't think of any other words to describe it. The plot is brilliantly fabricated and best of all, the characters are proper characters; each person has their own vivid personality. I particularly like Rex and Sebastian out of all the Myers Holt kids- especially Sebastian's 'dress to impress' catchphrase! Ron and John stand out too- I think it's hilarious how somebody like John can listen to country music and have a fluffy white dog and Ron's paranoid ninja nature makes me fall about laughing every time I read the book ('..man carrying suspicious package... ahem, just the postman!'). The end of the book is really quite a climax, in Darkwhisper Manor's graveyard - it really makes me want to read on.
If you had found out you had a power that can control people’s minds, would you use it responsibly? Christopher Lane and five other children have to make that very decision. Chris is known for getting into trouble at school, and ever since he’s been left to take care of his mother, he has had to take up responsibility that makes him different than other kids his age. This novel goes beyond having magical powers and introduces a skill called The Ability to the children at the old school, Myers Holt, the setting where the children will be taught. The only problem that stalls the students in their success is an old friend of The Ability who now wants scores to be settled. But as many know, if not put aside, revenge can destroy a person. The Ability by M.M. Vaughan is 330 pages of completely jaw-dropping secrets and magical chapters, all leading up to a perfect last sentence, that will leave you begging for the next novel.
From Amelia, aged 10. FL.
I really loved your book ,The Ability. My favorite character is Daisy because she does not get the sarcasm. My favorite part is the Antarctic Ball because there is a lot of action in it. The Ability is my favorite book I have ever read!
From Jack, aged 11. NC.
I LOVED your book the Ability and I am doing a poster for my Language Arts teacher. I would like to know more about your book. I have three questions if you have time to answer them. Here they are:
1. What inspired you to write the Ability?
2. Did you develop the characters from your friends and family, or did you use your imagination to create them?
3. Could you tell me a little bit about book 2?
Thank you for taking your time to answer these, and I can't wait for book 2 to come out!
"Thank you, Jack! I have sent you an email with answers to your questions and I'll put the answers up on the Q&A also. Send in a picture of your poster when you're done and I'll put it up on here!"
From Mei Mei. GA.
I hope that your second book is published very soon in the USA, and I hope that you will never stop writing books because I won't stop reading them. Even when I am a parent, I'll read your books and novels to my children, and myself! Thank you again and have fun writing
From Lucas, aged 9. NY. For McNally Jackson Books
I think that The Ability by M.M. Vaughan was really about teamwork, which makes it different from other books like it. It reminded me, for example, of The Mysterious Benedict Society, because in both books children go to a special school to learn specific things that other children don’t learn. In this book, the London school, Myers Holt, teaches students how to use their “ability.” An “ability” is not really easy to define, but it has to do with using your mind to do different things: enter other people’s minds and move objects, or put a thought in other people’s minds that is not really true, but can make those people believe it is.
Chris is the main character of The Ability. The beginning is very funny because everyone in Chris’s old school thought he was a bad kid, and they were all surprised when he was chosen to attend Myers Holt. Chris is my favorite character. His mother watched TV all day long, and she made Chris take care of her, and that made me feel sad for Chris. Even then, Chris is very enthusiastic and cheerful, and friendly to the other students.
One of reasons I really liked this book was because it was a bit scary, and I like that. The bad guys seem extremely bad and powerful. There were screens on the walls and fake moons and stars at night, and a blue fake sky in the morning that made the school seem special. I also like the characters. Rex is funny, and Daisy, I think, likes Chris. I don’t know if it is a love story, but it is definitely about strong friendships. Everything these kids do is very interesting, and I wish all twelve-year old kids would be able to do these things as well. Only six students go to the school, even though all twelve-year olds have the “ability.” Once you turn twelve, you can use the “ability,” but when you turn thirteen the “ability” will go away automatically. These six kids had to do a special test to go to the school, and they all passed it using the “ability” even though they still didn’t know they had it.
I definitely recommend The Ability to everyone. Kids and adults that like stories about unusual powers will really enjoy this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by M.M. Vaughan.
And finally, this from Maddy in Memphis, TN. Her mother told her the bathroom better be clean enough for the Queen....!