Thursday, May 05, 2005

light reading

As a breather after plowing through Green Book and before I begin the joys of Brown Book I've been reading John Bellairs' The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull. I thought I'd read all of Bellairs' works, so I'm tickled to stumble across another.

I discovered Bellairs by accident, as so often happens with great authors. Stumbling through the children's section on my way to the ladies room, a dust jacket caught my eye. "Hey! That's an Edward Gorey drawing!" (I may not be able to distinguish Monet from Manet, but Gorey I can handle.) Thoroughly intrigued, I checked one of Bellairs' books out, and devoured it in one sitting. Since then I've read and reread them.

Bellairs wrote in the 1980s, but his books are all set in the 1950s. He created several different heroes and heroines, but all of them live in small towns and have befriended older neighbors; together they battle different forces of darkness. Like all great children's literature, Bellairs has one eye on his story and another on his audience. For example, one hero is a Roman Catholic altar boy who often prays in Lation (this is, after all, before Vatican II). Bellairs includes all of the Latin, but then finds a way to carefully slide in a translation or explanation without making it obvious.

They're great stories and sometimes creepy as all get out. I'll go to Brown Book well before bedtime.

Words Written: zero
Lessons Graded: seven

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