Lloyd Alexander

I used to work at a major chain bookstore. Every few hours, like clockwork, a desperate-looking parent would turn up and announce that their kid had recently turned off Grand Theft Auto for the first time ever in order to read each and every Harry Potter book. Dazzled by the lack of gunshot noises emitting from their living rooms, these parents were hunting for a new book to continue to interest their little hellions in reading. Mostly my co-workers fobbed them off (misguidedly, in my opinion) with Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, but I did manage to sell a few people on Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles. This adventure/fantasy series, based loosely on Welsh mythology, features enough violence, humor, and blood-curdling terror to enthrall the mind of any ten-year-old boy, and enough romance and charm to appeal to any parents stuck reading them aloud.

Note: Please, for the love of God, skip the Disney film version of The Black Cauldron, which was based on the second book in the Prydain Chronicles. There was a good reason Disney kept this sucker buried for a looong time.

I didn’t catch this as a kid, but my mother has since pointed out some fairly misogynistic moments in these books. Many of the female characters (with a handful of exceptions) are either evil vixens or good-natured nimrods. We don’t want to go around warping anybody’s minds, so please be warned: this is entertaining stuff, but beware the rampant sexism.

For sale everywhere. Look for these in libraries.

Other Recommendations:
The Harry Potter books, by J. K. Rowling

The Artemis Fowl books, by Eoin Colfer

The Dark in Rising books, by Susan Cooper

The His Dark Materials books, by Philip Pullman

Anything by David and Leigh Eddings
Posted by: Julia


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