Friday, December 20, 2013

Ned Vizzini

This is horrible news. 

When I reviewed Mr. Vizzini's House of Secrets, there were some issues with the Latin, and since I'm the only one on the planet whose Venn diagram has an intersection at YA and Latin, I left these comments on his blog. Sadly, I didn't go back and visit in order to see the one from October.

Loyal Readers know why this is so upsetting to me. Somehow, sharing this conversation makes me feel better. It gives me something to do rather than leak tears the entire evening and alarming my family. 

May 7 2013, 00:21:37 UTC
I did enjoy House of Secrets, but if you include Latin phrases in the second book, you should seek some better assistance in translating. The two (or fewer) of us who both read the books and know Latin would be grateful (and wiling to help you find someone!). 
May 8 2013, 05:17:12 UTC
Thank you Ms. Yingling, I blame Google for any wacky translations, although also I took Latin in high school & college so I am to blame as well!

If you can, please tell me the most grievous offenses.
May 8 2013, 11:13:20 UTC
I am probably the only one who noticed. I realize it's too late to do anything about the current book, but if you would like help on any Latin in the future, I do know some people. Here are my best attempts; it has been 20 years since I have taught Latin. Hey! You could have been one of my students. (Waves cane in air menacingly).

Thanks for being nice about it!

page 342: Latin in book: Inter cinis crescere fortissimi flammis.

English translation: Among the ashes grow the strongest flames.

My correction: Inter cineres flammae fortissimae crescunt.

Page 398: Latin in book: Viribus fenerat ipsa terra.

English translation: The earth itself lends strength.

My correction: Inter cineres flammae fortissimae crescunt.

Page 405: Latin in book: Terrarum me introduxisti qui isti mihi ostende.

English translation: Show me the ones who brought me the world.

My correction: Demonstra (illos) (me) mihi mundum tulerunt.
May 12 2013, 07:09:59 UTC
These are beautiful. I am going to share these on the House of Secrets Facebook page. Please send me a message through my website and we can discuss Latin in Book 2, I think you could be a great help!

Thank you Karen!!!
October 25 2013, 14:43:12 UTC
Ms. Yingling, where are you? Can you please help me with the Latin in House of Secrets 2?If you can, please give me your email address or email me through 
Thank you!



  1. Oh, Karen, this news is extra hard for you. I'm glad you can share the interaction, and feel a little better for it. As someone who doesn't know latin, I liked that you and Ned both showed good humor in the whole exchange - a nice model for author/reviewer interaction if I ever saw one.

  2. Karen,

    You have been in my thoughts often in the past month, and I know this holiday season will be especially difficult -- I know this news doesn't help at all. Take care.


  3. Such sad news for you in many ways. Ned was a special guy and will be missed by many.

    Sending thoughts your way. Take care.


  4. Ms. Yingling, I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing your emails with Ned Vizzini. I enjoyed reading them.

  5. Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.

    (sending virtual hand squeeze)

  6. I thought of you when I heard this news--thank you for sharing your exchange. So generous and gracious--it would have been a lovely collaboration.

  7. By all accounts, he was a class act. It is so sad that the demons of his depression got the better of him.