desert island question

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at
Sat Apr 24 11:12:11 EDT 2004

> My question is, what book(s) would you most like to study? 
> Or, if you like, which ones should I be teaching? The current 
> dwj frontrunner is Witch Week, because it is sooooooo cool to 
> compare it with Harry Potter.

I've been reading some old favourites and I think it would be really interesting to look at settings- how some authors can really give you a vivid picture of the surroundings. The Borrowers, Charlotte's Web and My Family and Other Animals are the first ones that spring to mind. Actually, I'm wondering now, I'm generally not a very visual reader, and the editions I read of those books were all illustrated. Hmmm. But I think that, say, the description of Arrietty climbing up inside the hedge in Borrowers Afield isn't illustrated, but I can picture it just from the immediacy of the writing.
Or looking at other old-and-new pairings- Borrowers and Coraline for different uses of the "wainscot" idea, Mary Poppins and, oh, there must be a modern book about nannies or daycare. Fun.

I just re-read Castle in the Air- I think it was the first time I'd read it without Howl. It stands really well alone. [Not that this is a surprise from DWJ. But I'd always read it as a sequel, so I was disappointed to have less of Sophie than I wanted- this time I just looked at it on its own merits, and I think I wouldn't have minded if Sophie had been as peripheral as Lettie, as long as there was more of Flower being strong-minded :)] Lots of wonderful touches, like the toads. It's climbed up my list of favourites.
I think I'll read some of the standalone books, will have to request Hexwood at the library.

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list