Recommending books

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Thu Jun 20 14:03:13 EDT 2002

Melissa said...
> Alternatively, if you want to start a new list, I'd like that
> too.  I intend
> to type the whole thing up and format it so that I can either
> pass it out to
> people as needed or give out recommendations on the fly.

You've probably thought of some of these already, but here's my suggestions
anyway, in no particular order (warning - this got rather long!):

Joan Aiken - the Arabel and Mortimer stories are fun for younger kids; the
"Richard III" books are good for say, 9-year-olds up.
Vivien Alcock - I only have one of her books, "The Haunting of Cassie
Palmer", but it's very good (daughter of a fake spiritualist raises a
Susan Cooper - the "Dark is Rising" set is the obvious one!  "The Boggart"
is also fun, as is the Shakespeare one (blanking on the title), but my
favourite is "Seaward": very eerie and...resonant is the best word I can
think of!
DWJ, of course.
Ditto Narnia.
Margaret Mahy - "The Changeover" is another old favourite, though possibly
more suitable for mid-teenagers than younger kids.
E. Nesbit - "The Magic City" is one of my favourites, as are the "Arden"
pair.  And I have a lovely collection of dragon stories by her, entitled
"The Last of the Dragons and Some Others".
Patricia C. Wrede's "Enchanted Forest" books.
Lloyd Alexander's "Chronicles of Prydain" - another "duh!" choice. :-)
Diane Duane's "Wizard" series.
Helen Cresswell - I didn't much like "The Secret World of Polly Flint", but
I'm enjoying "Moondial".
Penelope Farmer - "A Castle of Bone" has haunted me since I first read it!
John Christopher - SF rather than fantasy, but none the worse for that!  He
does the post-apocalyptic thing well.
Ursula K. Le Guin - I loved the "Earthsea" trilogy as a young teenager.
Paul Gallico - "Jennie", about a boy who gets turned into a cat, just about
counts as fantasy, and is a must for any cat-lover.
Harry Harrison - again SF; my brother was mad about the Stainless Steel Rat
books as a teenager.
Arthur C. Clarke - "Islands in the Sky" is great kids' SF.
Kate Thompson - the "Switchers" trilogy is about shapechangers in Dublin.
Richard Parker - "The Old Powder Line" is time-travel with a steam train.
Ruth Park - "Playing Beattie Bow" is another time-travel one, set in Sydney,
Patricia Lynch - a bit "Oirish" in places, but excellent fantasy anyway.
Robin McKinley - the "Damar" books would suit teenagers, though I *don't*
recommend "Deerskin" here (great book, but rather disturbing - not for
kids).  "Beauty" (retelling of "Beauty and the Beast") is also good.
Roger Lancelyn Green - my first introduction to Greek myth was his "The Luck
of Troy", a story of the end of the seige of Troy (told from the point of
view of Helen's son, Nicostratus).
Pat O'Shea - "The Hounds of the Morrigan" is a must-read for everyone!
Mary Norton - the "Borrowers" books are better than "Bedknob and
Broomstick", I feel.
Barbara Sleigh - the "Carbonel" books are about witchcraft and cats, and
wonderful fun!
Patrick Little - "The Hawthorn Tree" is a great take on the Tam Lin/Thomas
the Rhymer ballads.  I don't recall liking "A Court of Owls" as much.
Annie Dalton - YA urban fantasy.  Great stuff.
Gillian Cross - "The Demon Headmaster" and sequels, also "The Dark Behind
the Curtain" for slightly older kids - this one's a bit creepy.
Lynne Reid Banks - "The Indian in the Cupboard" and sequels are a lot of
fun.  I also love "The Farthest-Away Mountain".
Catherine Storr - "Marianne Dreams" is a long-time favourite, though I
wouldn't bother with the sequel.

Phew!  See what you started?! :-)

Until the sky falls on our heads...


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