The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner, is one of my all time favourite children’s books, together with the sequel, The Moon of Gomrath . They had a profound impact on me as a child, such that when I and my parents holidayed in the Peak District one year, and I was an adult, I had an overwhelming desire to visit Alderley Edge (which sadly never happened). The adventures of Colin and Susan – sometimes frightening – are told at the perfect pace for younger readers. The connections to fairy tales, legends and the ancient “Matter of Britain” give the tales a depth that will infect the imagination. I can still read and enjoy them now, as a (very) mature adult. There are, indeed, times when these tales appear as faint echoes in my own writing.
If you’re not inclined to wrap your children’s imaginations in cotton wool to protect them from frights, then let them read these books – or (better still) read them to them! And no, I don’t mean get audio books or radio/TV dramatisations! Part of the magic is in knowing that so many of the locations are very real, but seeing TV images of them destroys it all – the imagination has to have room to work. And the same applies to voices – let the imagination create those, not actors. A parent reading aloud is different, because the voice is familiar, and that allows free reign to the child’s imagination, rather like that odd phenomenon of always remembering, or dreaming about, black and white movies in colour!
Both books are 5 star reads! (I’d give them 10 out 5 if I could.)