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[livejournal.com profile] green_maia asked: What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

My memory isn't as good as Maia's, so I don't remember exactly which book was my favorite at every age.

Thinking back though... fifth grade, Mr. K's classroom, it could have been Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series. I remember that I discovered the fourth book, The Grey King, first, not realizing it was part of a series at all. Then joyfully devoured books one, two and three... and discovered book five had not been published yet.

Such torment! I haunted the grade school library for the next year and a half, checking the shelf to see if Silver on the Tree was there yet. Nowadays that seems terribly naive, but then there was no internet back then. No easy way for a reader to look up an author's contact information or bibliography. No Amazon-predicted release dates. No social media to find "like reads" recommendations. I probably could have asked the staff to check with the publisher for me, but the head librarian was a mean lady, so I avoided speaking to her as much as possible.

I loved the otherworldliness of Cooper's story, and the way it made that other world seem so accessible to ours. I loved the poetry. I think I still have much of it memorized.

When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back:
three from the circle, three from the track.
Wood, Bronze, Iron; Water, Fire, Stone.
Five shall return and one go alone.


I wanted so badly for magic to be real. Even if it were dangerous, perhaps especially if it were dangerous. My parents both read fiction, but neither of them has ever had the taste for Fantasy. Every fantasy story I loved, I had to find on my own.

It still boggles me that today I can read a friend's blog, spot a book I'd like to try, search for it online, buy it or borrow it, and read it in the palm of my hand. That would have seemed Heaven to me at 10 years old.
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readerjane

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