First off, I'm very sorry to hear about Rex, and I wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you and your family. I hope you're doing okay. I was also wondering what books you like. The Alice (and Shiloh!) books are some of my favorites, of course. Do you have any that particularly influenced you or your writing, that made you feel or think about something new or different, or that you simply really enjoyed? Favorite authors or genres? And do you read other YA fiction? I appreciate that you take the time to read and respond to so many emails--thanks! Phyllis replied: I could write forever about which books I like best, but I read all kinds, for all ages. When I was growing up I was most influenced by Mark Twain. I liked the themes he wrote about, and Huckleberry Finn was my favorite.