The Best Fantasy Books of the 1960's

The Top Fantasy Written During the 1960's
The Best Fantasy Books of the 1960’s

The Swinging 60's. The Space Race. Martin Luther King JR. Vietnam. JFK. The Beetles Woodstock. Bonnie and Clyde. The Sound of Music. The Jungle Book. 

The 60's is an era that we are all familiar with. It was a turbulent decade filled with events, personalities and concepts that are still so relevant almost 60 years later.

We can go for hours discussing the various aspects that were controversial and ground-breaking. But let's rather focus on the literature. 

The 1960s were a great decade for literary fantasy — it was a time when new writers were bringing new themes into the genre, and exploring old themes in radically new ways. 

It's no surprise that all this made a serious dent on the fantasy genre. And in fact, it did: some of the greatest authors published their seminal works in the 1960's. 

We have classics from the likes of Michael Moorcock, Roald Dahl, Andre Norton, Maurice Sendak, Susan Cooper and more… 

Our list of legendary fantasy novels could be much longer than it actually is! But we limit our selection to the Top 25 Best 25 Fantasy Books of the 1960's that you absolutely need to read.

Make sure to check out our other Best Fantasy Decade Lists:

Best Pre-Tolkien FantasyBest Early Modern Fantasy (1930's to 1950's)Best Fantasy Books of the 70's (fantasy finds complexity)Best Fantasy Books of the 80's (the golden age)Best Fantasy Books of the 90's (contemporary fantasy)
Today, Ursula K. Le Guin’s magic system may not sound exceptional. Like many, it uses the knowledge of true names to control elements, creatures, and even humans. Consider, however, that this book was published in 1968, yet remains the most interesting execution of the concept. In Earthsea, every magical action has a consequence. Learning it is as much a practice in ethics as it is names, as even the smallest spell can change the world. Stop rain in one part of the world, and another may be hit with terrible storms. As a result, mages must have a deep understanding of the world. Learning an item’s name isn’t enough; the caster must understand how it fits into the bigger picture. As a result, wizards usually specialize. There are healers, enchanters, summoners, and illusionists. Each much consider the balance of the world so as not to upset it unnecessarily. Through the protagonist, Ged, the reader learns what can happen if that warning isn’t heeded. His overconfidence unleashes a terrible shadow upon the world; one that he must learn to both accept, and then defeat.

Books in The Earthsea Cycle Series (5)

Similar Recommendations

The Lord of the Rings

Similar recommendations: J.R.R.Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

Riddle-Master of Hed

I also recommend Phillip K. McKillip's wonderful Riddle-Master trilogy, which features similar prose and a similar, though at the same time, very different, story. 

The Swan's War

You might also try Sean Russell's The Swans' War .

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

This book is a classic with a complex heroine and plenty of subversions. The author is from the same mold as Le Guine.

Lyonesse Trilogy

The Lyonesse Trilogy by the great Jack Vance. Plays quite a few of the same notes as does The Earthsea Cycle: beautiful, poetic writing, well developed complex characters, a magical world steeped in welsh/Celtic mythology that you want to move into, and some deep themes explored.

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn

Starts with The Dragonebone Chair. From boy to man and from man to hero, this is a remarkable tale that's brimming with detail. It's a story where the journey's end is not the ultimate destination, but the journey itself is.

The Curse of Chalion

The Curse of Chalion won the World Fantasy Award and the author has won Hugos and Nebula awards already for her other series. Beautiful writing, complex characters, deep themes. Something about this book brings to mind A Wizard of Earthsea, even if the plot and story are not at all the same.

Told from the perspective of the unicorn herself, this novel is as much satire as it is fairytale. The journey begins when she overhears a conversation insinuating that the unicorns are probably gone out of the world, and maybe they were only ever fantasy. Her journey is full of wonderfully imperfect characters; even the unicorn is vain and at times proud to a fault. King Haggard is clearly depressed and harms out of selfishness rather than because he is some embodiment of evil like in so many stories of the genre. It is a delightful, relaxing read, but that doesn't mean it's insubstantial. Beagle's descriptions are vibrant and tangible. Undercurrents of social commentary thread the humor woven throughout, and the ending isn't a neat and tidy Disney finale. While it can't tout a long list of literary awards won, it has made numerous readers' choice lists, including being proclaimed as #5 on the Locus list of "All Time Fantasy Novels."

Books in The Last Unicorn Series (4)

Elric is the ill-fated albino prince of a fading race who bears the sword Stormbringer in his journeys through the Young Kingdoms of man.This is the last book of the Elric Saga, in which Elric will finally learn his fate. On top of this, he will somehow have to blow the Horn of Fate, three times, so that the rebirth of the World can begin. The Lords of Chaos have other plans, however since they cannot let him destroy the things they have built, the things they own – the things that make them who they are.He may have a host of enemies and they may just be the most dominant force in the multiverse, but Elric has the assistance of The Servants of Fate. That kind of help, no one can ignore.Why it's on the listThe Elric books have everything: an original plot, one of the most fascinating characters in all fiction, disturbing ideas about how much anything really matters, and a rich, dark atmosphere that instantly pulls you in. The Elric saga has become the foundation for more than a few Hollywood fantasy films. This is because Moorcock draws you into a world rich with color and texture. This book has some of his best narratives and they take you on a journey filled with war, love, sorcery, treachery, and the ultimate quest for justice.In Stormbringer, Moorcock brings this epic to a close in a typically and grandly tragic style. The end of the world, triumph through defeat, the systematic isolation of Elric from all he cares about, and Elric's final quest to be forgotten, all come together to make this series go out with a bang that is in keeping with how quickly and strongly it gripped us all in the first book.Read if you likeSword and Sorcery. Magic and good vs evil.

Books in Elric Series (24)

Alexander's Wales-inspired epic fantasy offers little in the way of originality when compared to the novels of today. It's a simple tale of Taran, a pig farmer who has always wanted more, and gets more than he's bargained for. But as is common in these stories, execution is the key, and this author has it down to a tee. The Chronicles of Prydain is an adventure novel at its core, detailing the fight and journey a band of heroes against evil. There are some incredibly strong characters, from half animals to princesses and soulless warriors. There's no Mary Sue characters in this book, each defined as much by their flaws as their weaknesses. But that doesn't mean they have no redeemable qualities, and many of their internal journeys are about finding those. Despite this, none of them reach the depth of Taran, which is where Alexander's true mastery shows. He manages to create a feeling of care for the character despite his clumsiness and irritability.Taran is not a stalwart warrior with no emotion, he's fragile and still learning. Still, he has such a strong presence that Alexander never has to describe his face. Read if you like: Lord of the Rings, adventure, diverse characters.

Books in The Chronicles Of Prydain Series (5)

Harry Potter did the English magician story very well, but it also overshadowed some incredible books with similar settings. Will is a chosen one of sorts, one of the few that can battle the powers. His mentor is an old, kind wizard, seeking to end the cycle of light and dark. It sounds quite familiar, but other than the setting, that's really where the similarity ends. Arguably, Cooper is a better writer than Rowling, stepping away from a cheery style and into a darker tone. Where JK's story is a mashup of different myths, Cooper's is a careful construct of Celtic and Arthurian legends. That makes for some very clear imagery and some fantastic conflicts. Will narrates the story from two perspectives, his young, content self, and his wise, magical self. As a narrative tool, it highlights the cost of power and the changes of adulthood. It's not an easy journey, and Cooper weaves in heavy themes of loss, unwanted destiny, and darkness. Read if you like: Harry Potter, King Arthur, English settings.

Books in The Dark Is Rising Series (9)

Similar Recommendations

Let's base this strictly on other good Arthurian works of fantasy. You should read The Mists of Avalon if you are even remotely interested in Arthurian fiction. Even if you aren't, read it. Stephen Lawhead's excellent The Pendragon Cycle will fill your Arthur craving with a solid number of compelling books in the saga.

You'll probably like The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart as well, which is another retelling of the Arthur myth but this one is about Merlin. If you want to read the Arthur myth in a different light (some might even argue "a whole new light" even) from a historical fiction light rather than a fantasy one, give Jack Whyte's The Camulod Chronicles a read.

Meg seems to have a perfectly normal life. The normality ends quite suddenly when her littlest brother, Charles, meets Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. Suddenly, Meg's normal life is anything but as she is whisked into the universe on the hunt to find her missing father alongside Charles and her new friend Calvin O'Keefe. Things are not as simple as they once were and Meg must face her fears to save her father and ultimately her little brother before it is too late and they are lost forever. Why it's on the list The whole book sings with an inner strength about things we must all face in our everyday lives. While the situations are ones none of us may ever encounter, L'Engle's solutions are profoundly earthy and true. The book is filled with mystery, fantasy, suspense, and amazing symbolism, and grabs your attention and holds it right to the very end. Whether it's the excitement of traveling through time or the thought of death, the interest of the novel stays in your mind. Most of this interest comes about because of the fantasy behind the plot of Meg and her brother Charles having to find their father in some far off universe. This universe is so wacky it's a fantasy land within all fantasy lands. Besides the story being a thrilling fantasy, it's also a touching novel. A full package of emotions. Read if you like Science fiction and Fantasy involving time and space. Even if you're not interested in that, this is a great book.
This book is about a boy named Max who puts on a wolf costume and feels like making some trouble. He breaks some rules and is sent to bed without supper. That night his imagination runs wild. He goes on a journey in the jungle that has grown in his room. He meets many types of monsters on his journey and is returned safely home.Why it's on the listWhere the Wild Things Are is a classic children's book. The story is fun and adventurous. The illustrations are extremely well done and do wonders for the entire experience. It is the life and imagination of every child, to escape to a distant land, play with imaginary characters and be king for a day. The book gives children a chance to use their imagination. Whether you like the story itself or you just like to look at the illustrations, this is definitely a book for people of all ages.Read if you likeAdventure. Fun. Children's stories.
Simon Tregarth is a man on the run from various shadowy ruffians, people he associated with because he was wrongly convicted of working the black market while in the military. Willing to try anything, he ends up passing through the Siege Perilous, a megalith which apparently is actually a gate to another world. There he immediately finds himself embroiled in a war between the Witches of Estcarp and the alien, technologically advanced Kolder, and somewhat in love with one of the Witches, even though she is bound to remain a virgin if she wishes to retain her powers. Why it's on the list Andre Norton's real name was Alice, but she chose to write under a male pseudonym back in the 60s'. This tale started her rise to fame and is a must read for any Norton fan. Obviously, this book is fantasy. But it is not about fairies and elves and sprites. It is hard magic, not light fantasy; and it is fascinating. With this book, she took a giant step in a new direction, that of adult fantasy. A book that spawned a veritable library of sequels and other stories set in the same universe, most written by her, but some written by others or as collaborators with her. Today it still stands as one of her best works. The magic of this book lies not so much in the overt acts of magic that are performed as part of this war, nor even in Simon's growth into a hero with honor, but rather it is in the richness, the otherworldliness of this imagined world. Read if you like Adult Fantasy. Hard magic.
While vacationing with their Mother's ancient nurse in Wales, young Colin and Susan come to learn of the Legend of Alderley, a story of mystery and magic. Obviously, at first it's simply an enjoyable story, an integral part of the countryside's peculiar charm. And then an odd woman, who some call a witch, attempts to lure them into her car. This is just the start of the excitement and danger. When bizarre creatures come scuttling from the Devil's Grave, Colin and Susan quickly realize that the stories are real and the only thing that can help them now is an old but precious family heirloom of Susan's.Why it's on the listThis tale is well paced and well written. Lord of the Rings meets Harry Potter in an easy-reading book written for kids but just as great of a story for adults.It's an exciting fantasy tale, the more so because it is woven into the hidden nooks and crannies of our own modern-day world - unlike Tolkien and Alexander. You never know when you might look behind a standing stone, only to find a stromkarl chanting a spell while other passers-by would see nothing but a little man humming to himself. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen is, all in all, full of noble and wicked characters whose endless battle leaks over into the world of men and sweeps up the two children, carrying them along in a tide of calamitous events. Luckily they are aided by their friend Gowther old and wizened farmer who, even though he is surrounded by the cynicism of his world, is still able to have faith in the old ways.This is a delightful little book and one that is guaranteed to keep readers, young and old alike, absorbed through a rainy afternoon. The author has a gift for story-telling and a lovely, slightly quaint style reminiscent of Tolkien or Lewis, and his sensitive use of language really helps to bring his vision and imagination to life. He also paints his scenery and settings beautifully, so that the reader is transported without much difficulty into a world of dark mines and loathsome goblins, deep mysterious woods and enchanted knights.Read if you likeClassic Fairytales.

Books in Tales Of Alderley Series (4)

This book is set amongst the fighting in an alternate Europe where the evil mages of the Empire of Grand Britain are overrunning Europe. Dorian Hawkmoon, the Duke of Koln, faces orthnicopter flying machines, men in beast masks, and genetically modified war beasts. The Jewel is implanted in Dorian's forehead in order to control him, but he manages to breaks free, and so begins the series of Hawkmoon and his allies against a seemingly unstoppable army reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Why it's on the list The Jewel in the Skull is quite an interesting story. Moorcock introduces us to a world that we find more than a little familiar and shows us a hero who is most definitely worth following. You will be eager to start the next book in this series. They don't throw around the title of "legendary" for no reason, fantasy fans should read more Michael Moorcock. He is simply one of the best writers ever. Read if you like Allegory. Alternate speculative history.
Xylar's kings have a tough life. Every five years the current king is beheaded and any audience member who catches the head reluctantly becomes the next king. After King Jorian is rescued by the magician Karadur, he promises to obtain the Kist of Avlen, filled with magical spells. The two men set out on a series of episodic adventures and encounter bizarre creatures of every sort, including a snake princess and a minor god. Like other picaresque novels, this fantasy lampoons the customs of the various societies. Jorian tells many captivating stories before the plot reaches a surprising climax. Why it's on the list Of all of Sprague de Camp's novels, these are probably the best. They combine adventure and humor as few authors can. You get the feeling that nothing in Jorian's life ever goes as planned. Sprague de Camp is a great story- teller, and this humorous critique of governmental systems is no exception. All of his works are first-rate. Read if you like Humor, Adventure, and Fantasy.
Dragonriders of Pern is the dragon rider series against which all dragon fantasies should be measured. McCaffrey weaves a believable, spellbinding tale of a world of men and dragons battling against an uncaring enemy and the capricious self-centeredness of all men. The epic story of how one man, believing in the tales of the past when everyone else ignored them, manages with the help of his co-leader and his brother to save the world, and make themselves legends in the process. Why it's on the list McCaffrey pulls off wonders with her writing - no other author could have concocted or done justice to Pern and its people as she does. The Pern series is possibly the most incredible series you will ever read, from the empathetic and majestic dragons to the likable and unique characters who ride them. She manages to conjure a complex society, has characters that you can't help but become interested in, and writes compelling story lines. And then, of course, there are the dragons - you fall in love with their distinctive personalities just as much as you do with the human characters. You will not be able to wait for the next book. When you sit down to read one, you will tend to forget about the things that you need to do and read the book until it is done. Read if you like Dragons. Sword and Sorcery.
Four children who are exploring a ruined church accidently travel to another world, the mysterious realm of Elidor. In Elidor, they become the keepers of the four treasures and are sent back to earth to protect these treasures. But as time passes they realize that evil forces from Elidor are searching for them. Now, the children must find a way to protect both Elidor and their own world.Why it's on the listGarner has written a unique book, for children or adults, a quick and easy read. His deep knowledge of story, legend and place barely show, yet they are the solid foundation on which the story is built. You won't realize it until the book nears its end but this is one of the finest imaginative novels you will read. Elidor is a great fantasy book filled with action and adventure.Read if you likeQuick and easy to read books that leave an impression on you long after you put the book down.
James and the Giant Peach is about a little boy named James, whose parents died, and now lives with his wicked aunts. One day, someone suspicious gives him a bag of green things to make something spectacular, but James accidentally loses them, and all of them disappear. When a peach tree in the garden suddenly grows a giant peach, his crazy adventures begin. Why it's on the list Dahl is always a treat, and his books are easily able to stand up to the test of time - children always love an evil-good guardian that always gets what they deserve while the suffering child gets to show us all what kind of good-hearted hero he is, and have a grand adventure too. The book also sneaks in a wonderful lesson about never giving up, finding out who is important in your life, and hanging on to them forever. The other vital lesson that it teaches is even though life may have been horrible in the beginning it is all about giving back. This short story is written in the same style as most of his other works. Not everything about people or life is pretty -- but there's always something to learn from it. Dahl uses vivid imagery, fun language, and immerses the reader. Read if you like Any Roald Dahl books. Adventure. Fun.
When Sebastian, a boy in Victorian England, sees an unhappy young girl in an antique mirror, he feels compelled to purchase it and free her from captivity. Melissa was kidnapped long ago by a wicked Enchanter who swore to deprive her adoptive father of whatever he loved most. To liberate Melissa, Sebastian must collect the Enchanter's five Power Objects - the mirror, a teapot, a silver fish, an emerald, and a green rose - and throw them into a magic well. Unless Sebastian can free her, she is doomed to spend eternity alone, trapped in the Enchanter's Treasure House, a place where time is meaningless.Why it's on the listThe story is a creative, fun, mysterious story that will capture your imagination. Although sometimes derivative in plot, it is wonderfully written, imaginatively described, and is absolutely entrancing. This is a story that awakens the mind and refreshes the spirit.Read if you likeFun, mysterious and thoroughly enjoyable stories.
One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of a town, Macondo, and the special family that lives there. Weird things seem to happen in Macondo; sleeping disorders, eerie scientists, dangerous soldiers and strange murders seem to be centered on the mansion of this family – the Buendia's. The stories are a window into the literature of Latin America and are filled will experiences and adventures of sadness, desperation, love, and loss. Why it's on the list In 1982 Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and his other works include "Love in the time of the Cholera" and "Of Love and Other Demons", as well as several short story collections. In all his books he invokes real emotion from the reader, and One Hundred Years of Solitude is no different. This book is arguably Garcia Marquez's best work. It is certainly his most acknowledged. Readers need to absorb this book at a languid pace, page by page so that each scene can be reflected upon and contemplated. It is written for a very specific type of fantasy buff, a person who will take the time to decode the underlying meaning of each story and reveal the artistry hidden behind the simple words of a page. This novel prompted the surge of "magical realism" and modern Latin American literature. It is strange, but within that strangeness lies the essence of the story. Amazingly, the book has no purpose, no meaning, and no lesson. It is just meant to be read and enjoyed. His "magical realism" is that of telling absolutely absurd events in the most practical of ways. Read if you like True creativity and literature. Deep and meaningful books.
It is the first of a series following the travels of a naive girl-child goddess set in a harsh land. In the ancient forgotten world of prehistory, a girl is born. For the last seventeen years the Dictatress, her mother, has kept her imprisoned in an isolated tower. When she is released, it is with one condition: she must seduce the snake-scaled Zerd, the general of an evil occupying army, and stab him to death.Why it's on the listThis fantastic story of love, jealousy, and sudden death is unlike anything you have ever read. It grips the imagination from start to finish. Cija, our resilient protagonist, is a purely original character who defies classification. She is not alone in this book, as we come across other memorable figures who are not easily understood. The story itself is sometimes comic and tragic, but also a rousing adventure. There is lust, love, suffering, and cruelty. Gaskell is an extremely skilled writer, and even when she works in stereotypes she manages to make it interesting. The Serpent remains one of the best fantasy/romance genre books ever written. It is creative, imaginative, and packs a punch.Read if you likeFantasy by, for and about an unusual woman.
Charlie is a poor yet happy child who lives with his mother, father and four old grandparents in a one-room bungalow on the outskirts of town. He is the kind of boy who dreams of a better life not for himself but rather for his whole family. Charlie realizes he may just get the chance to change his life when he finds a golden ticket that will let him visit the great chocolate factory of the legendary Willy Wonka.Why it's on the listWhen it comes to kid's stories, Roald Dahl is an unrivaled legend. Along with his other novel, "James and the Giant Peach", Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stands at the top of the heap when it comes to children's books. This book is a true classic, with a pure sense of magic, storytelling, and imagination. The book is also much better than the movie, in which Willy Wonka becomes the main character, because it tells the tale from young, kind and innocent Charlie Bucket's perspective. It is one of those exhilarating and astonishing reading experiences that makes a deep impression when you are young. Amazingly - years later, this is one of the first books you will choose for your own children.Read if you likeRoald Dahl. This is a classic that we all know a little about. If your only exposure to the story was the movies – you need to read the book now!

Books in Charlie Bucket Series (1)

Steel Magic, also known as Gray Magic is the first fantasy novel in the Magic Sequence, a series for older children. It is based loosely on the legends of King Arthur and Roland. The story revolves around three siblings, the Lowery children - Greg, Eric, and Sara who are transported, via a magic gate, to Avalon. Once there, they need to complete a series of quests to find three lost tokens of power. The tokens are the only thing that can protect both worlds. Why it's on the list This novel is a story of courage and perseverance, with each child facing and overcoming their special fears. It has brave people and magical animals, both good and evil, including a very wise fox. Eric, Greg and Sara's dramatic entrance into the Avalon is somehow more romantic and believable than C.S. Lewis's Wardrobe, yet it is the same genre of literature. Like all Norton's books, an excellent read, to be enjoyed and recommended to anyone who hasn't read her books yet. Read if you like C.S. Lewis. King Arthur
This is a rollicking little tale about the friendship between a mouse who lives in a dilapidated hotel and a boy who stays there over a long weekend. The mouse learns to ride the boy's shiny red toy motorcycle, which thrills them both but gets the mouse into a number of jams, including losing the toy motorcycle. Eventually, the mouse learns responsibility and the importance of caring more about others, which earns him back his prized toy. Why it's on the list This the most action-packed and comical children's story you can ever read. The book's simple underlying message is that the more responsible you are, the more privileges you get. Cleary's light touch, her sense of humor, and her obvious respect for children make this story a treasure to enjoy. She teaches important lessons in a nice way. It's no surprise that she is one of most children's favorite writers. Read if you like Fun and Quirky Children's books.
Tollbooth tells the story of Milo, a boy who is pretty much bored of everything around him. One day he gets a mysterious package that turns out to be a toy tollbooth. With nothing else to do, he decides to assemble the gift, only to unexpectedly find that he is driving in a completely different world. There he comes across a variety of strange creatures, from a man-sized humbug to a giant watch-dog (literally. A giant dog with a watch for a body). Why it's on the list The Phantom Tollbooth is a superb story filled with idioms and word plays taken literally. The author is so good at creating scenes which are so fantastic yet so well drawn you can picture them delightfully. The magic of the book is not contained in just clever wordplay, amidst all the wittiness, the story's characters are well developed and there is a genuine sadness to have the adventure end. Sure, this is considered a kids' book. There is also more than enough complexity, entertainment, and depth to keep readers of all ages thoroughly engaged. Read if you like Witty Characters. A children's book with enough depth that an adult will enjoy.
In the little town of Wootton Major, they have a wonderful tradition where a special cake is baked every twenty-four years, and eaten by twenty-four good children. But, when a magical Faery star is slipped into this year's cake, it is eaten by the local smith's son. And so the life of the younger smith is changed beyond anyone's imagination – he is marked by beauty of face and voice, and can even visit the land of Faery whenever he likes. It is a life of magic and giving. Why it's on the list Another wonderful story by Tolkien. This book is a heart-warming meditation on what the gift of fantasy means. Tolkien was not a fan of allegory, which is why this captivating short story is a bit of a peculiarity among his writings - a stunning little fable that highlights his love of real, deep fairy tales. Unlike so many modern stories of faeries or elves, Tolkien has managed to keep the sense of magic and mystery in his visionary supernatural realm. This book is a must-have for anyone who was ever interested in Tolkien's short fiction. All aspects of this book smacks of quality, from the layout to the texts contained within. Read if you like To understand what else Tolkien was able to write. Short Fiction.
Alison, her stepfather, and his son Roger are staying at her mother's. Also staying there is the housekeeper, Nancy, her son Gwyn, and the stable hand Huw. Alison comes upon a set of dishes and sees owls in the decoration. She draws them only to have them disappear as well as the design on the plates. Only Huw knows what's going on. Something about flowers and owls, and an old legend that the kids learn about. And the only one that can do anything about it is Gwyn. Why it's on the list The Owl Service is a fantasy read but not like the fantasies of today. This book is carefully written, beautifully entwining ancient Celtic legends with everyday teenagers and creating an aura of mystery around it. Definitely something for hard-core mythology fans, as well as a good book for teenagers. It's a fabulous, lightly written and well-paced read accentuated with an eerie, creepy atmosphere that could potentially put you off family holidays in Wales forever. Garner takes ideas and compresses them so tightly, the book reads like poetry. There isn't a single wasted word here; there's no "filler", no unnecessary stage directions. The dialogue is outstanding. Read if you like Memorable imagery. Celtic mythology.
Alison, her stepfather, and his son Roger are staying at her mother's. Also staying there is the housekeeper, Nancy, her son Gwyn, and the stable hand Huw. Alison comes upon a set of dishes and sees owls in the decoration. She draws them only to have them disappear as well as the design on the plates. Only Huw knows what's going on. Something about flowers and owls, and an old legend that the kids learn about. And the only one that can do anything about it is Gwyn. Why it's on the list The Owl Service is a fantasy read but not like the fantasies of today. This book is carefully written, beautifully entwining ancient Celtic legends with everyday teenagers and creating an aura of mystery around it. Definitely something for hard-core mythology fans, as well as a good book for teenagers. It's a fabulous, lightly written and well-paced read accentuated with an eerie, creepy atmosphere that could potentially put you off family holidays in Wales forever. Garner takes ideas and compresses them so tightly, the book reads like poetry. There isn't a single wasted word here; there's no "filler", no unnecessary stage directions. The dialogue is outstanding. Read if you like Memorable imagery. Celtic mythology.
This is such a delightful, peculiar but beautifully illustrated fable about a little dog called Jennie who has all that she could possibly wish for, but is unsatisfied with her life so searches for more. Along the journey, there are babies who won't eat, job applications to theater and stage companies, feline milkmen, lions and, not to mention, the Mother Goose rhymes that the book has taken its title from. The dream-like journey brings her to some odd characters and situations, but at the end, she finds the happiness she never could have imagined. Why it's on the list This book is illustrated by Sendak and the carefully rendered black and white illustrations are absolutely brilliant. He provides us with visual representations of the delightful characters and adds some fanciful details that perfectly complement the main text of the story. Higglety is above all else an adult tale successfully disguised as a kids book, children will adore the illustrations and silly phrases, but in truth only adults will grasp the deeper messages. Read if you like Illustrations and fables.