Friday, May 15, 2009

10 Books A Day: #26

The Children of Green Knowe...L. M. Boston...Harcourt, Brace, and Company

Treasure of Green Knowe...L. M. Boston...Harcourt, Brace, & World, Inc.

The River at Green Knowe...L. M. Boston...Harcourt, Brace, & World, Inc.

A Stranger at Green Knowe...L. M. Boston...Voyager/Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich

An Enemy at Green Knowe...L. M. Boston...Harcourt, Brace, & World, Inc.

The Boggart...Susan Cooper...Aladdin Paperbacks/Simon & Schuster

The Boggart and the Monster...Susan Cooper...Aladdin Paperbacks/Simon & Schuster

Tom's Midnight Garden...Phillipa Pearce...Harper Trophy/HarperCollins

The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain...Lloyd Alexander...Dell Yearling

The Wizard in the Tree...Lloyd Alexander...Dell Yearling

Bridge To Terabithia...Katherine Paterson...Avon/Camelot

The Green Knowe books were published in the period spanning 1954-1964. They deal with the adventures of various children in a magical old house (called Green Knowe). The book I first read in middle school was An Enemy at Green Knowe; I was looking for magic books like Bed-knob and Broomstick, which had had a deep influence on me, and it seemed to fit the bill. I never saw the series again till years later, when I was able to get most of the volumes at a San Antonio library sale (all except for Stranger; I got that when the series was re-printed in the wake of Harry Potter).

Middle school was also where I read The Wizard in the Tree, by Lloyd Alexander (who of course is more famous for his Prydain Chronicles). I read The Sword in the Stone, and Howard Pyle's King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and an adaptation of Beowulf, and I peeked into The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (and decided at the time that it wasn't for me!). And I first read The Hobbit, and then all chocks were off.

Susan Cooper's Boggart books are the latest published on this list, from '93 and '95. These books are good reads, but her The Dark Is Rising series is great; in those books Cooper's conception and writing talent are superior to J. K. Rowling's by far. It is a pity that so many people will only know them through the awful movie The Seeker. Tom's Midnight Garden was more fortunate in its' movie adaptation; it was blessed with the considerable talents of Joan Plowright. Bridge To Terabithia is of course not a fantasy: it is about fantasy, however, and its power to affect real life.


AlanDP said...

Is the "Terabithia" movie fairly faithful to the book?

We all watched it a few months ago. Even Zoe was crying, and she's rather cynical and hard-bitten for a 10-year-old.

Brer said...

I haven't actually watched the movie all the way through, just dipped in and out when I came across it on cable, but from what I could see it looked like it hewed to the story pretty well: boy from a family(indeed, a town full)of mehums meets a girl with imagination who moves to town. He learns to dream and create, she dies, but he is left with the gift that he passes on.