She creates strong characters that face normal (and sometimes not so normal) conflicts that we can relate to our own lives. I love Shannon Hale!! Here's another one of her titles:
The Goose Girl based loosely on a classic tale- about a princess who gets switched and learns who she is and how to rescue herself. Excellent!
Author of In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower. Both are excellent- I would recommend the first for anyone who likes survival tales and is at or above a high school reading level. It's about the sailors on the whaleship the Essex in 1819, were shipwrecked by an angry whale, and had to survive. Lots of interesting and sometimes gruesome details flavor this book, along with a clear look at the nature of man in extreme circumstances. This book is so good it made me want to read Moby Dick!!!