If you'd read, it's not that either. It's that companies are only looking for perfect candidates
So true! Us IT people at my previous $WORK (a fortune 50 retailer) saw that time and time again. We'd referred great, intelligent, skilled people for open technical positions and HR would not even pass them on to the technical interview telling us "they weren't $WORK-enough". So the positions would stay open for months on end while the rest of us worked our asses off to cover the workload.
Christopher's Tripods trilogy is aimed at the younger reader. There's even an old British TV adaptation of the first two books.
I'll second the Tripods trilogy. I got them around 8-10 myself.
In the late 90's my wife and I, during a vacation in Ireland, actually knocked on the door of Dragonhold-Underhill. Many of the dust jackets on her books give very good clues about where she lives and several of them mention she welcomes visits from fans as long as you call ahead. Try as we might during our previous 5 days in Ireland we were unable to find a number we could reach her at, although I did manage to call her stables but she wasn't there. After a bit of driving around Wicklow we found her home and decided we'd take the chance to knock on the door, politely apologize for showing up unannounced, and ask if we could talk to Anne for a moment. Todd answered the door, said hold on and closed it again. We figured that was it and prepared to leave. A minute later he opens the door again and there is Anne! I gave her a enormous hug (I couldn't help it) which I believe made Todd nervous for a minute but Anne laughed and said you don't get a greeting like that at your door everyday. She warmly and kindly invited us into her home and chatted with us over tea and cookies for an hour. She introduced us to her mother, daughter, and Todd and gave us a tour of her home. On the way out she told us we should drive through Wicklow Pass and we'd see her vision of Pern. I'll never forget that day and often share the story with new readers of her books.
One thing I learned during our visit was the main reason she stopped writing was due to a combination of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and arthritis. She had tried speech to text programs but they didn't work for her because of the way she wrote and how her creative process worked.
She was a fabulous lady who will be missed dearly by many, many people. She will always be the Masterharper. May her dragons sing her between!