BOOKS FOR CHILDREN: How do you know what's good?

While there are many places (especially on the internet) where you can read book reviews, how do you really know if it's a good book or not when a single book might receive anywhere from one to five stars?
The answer: read the reviews of a book-addicted teacher librarian.

** The age recommendations are guidelines only; whether or not a certain book is suitable for a particular child depends on multiple factors, including their maturity, reading level, interests, and in some cases their experiences.
** While the ratings are largely based on my own personal appreciation/enjoyment of the book, they are also influenced by my experiences as a teacher and the potential attraction for the target-aged child (acknowledging that what one child may love, another may find exceptionally boring). A rating of 5 indicates the book is likely to be popular with the majority.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Series: The Dark Is Rising (Middle Grade Fic)

AUTHOR: Susan Cooper (UK)
PUBLISHED: Originally published by Random House Children's ; 1965-1977.
PAGES/ILL: ~260 pages.
SERIES: The Dark Is Rising Sequence. Over Sea, Under Stone ; The Dark Is Rising ; Greenwitch ; The Grey King ; Silver On The Tree.

PLOT: (Second book: The Dark Is Rising)
When Will Stanton turns 11, his life is changed forever when he learns he is the last of the Old Ones - members of the Light who protect the world from the Dark. Together with the first Old One, Merriman Lyon, he must find six symbols of the Light, which together are a major defence against the Dark and the Black Rider. Merriman was introduced in the first book, and both he and Will feature in the remaining books.

This series combines Celtic and Norse mythology as well as English folk lore and faint elements of demonology. The second book in the series was adapted as a film in 2007, titled The Seeker in the US and The Dark Is Rising in the UK.

This is a solid good-vs-evil fantasy. Recommended for ages 11-16 and for those who enjoyed the Narnia and Ranger's Apprentice series who enjoy or need a gateway to works like The Lord of the Rings.

AGE: 11+.
GENRE: Fantasy Adventure.
RATING: 4 stars.

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