In 5th Grade, Susan Cooper definitely scored the Favorite Author title. Neither of my eldest children have been particularly taken with Cooper's The Dark Is Rising sequence despite maternal insistence on the sheer excellence of the series. Then again, the youngest is likely the only potential Anglophile among them, and she is just now of age for a potential introduction. She writes fan fiction when a story really grabs her, so there's even greater appeal to introduce her to the series.
5th Grade being many, many moons into the distant past, I've moved on from fantasy tales spinning out in Wales to the no less intriguing histories of England and Scotland. (Wales garners little more of my attention than Normandy, and that typically because of relationship rather than individual merit.) Precious Youngest cracked the spine of my current read, Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley as we sat waiting in the pediatrician's office (separate post on that to follow this one...) this week. She read a single line, "To the south of the city lay a quadrangle of collegiate buildings attached to the adjacent ruined Kirk of St. Mary in the Fields."* She closed the book silently, and her wide blue eyes cut to the side before meeting my amused gaze.
"I don't even know what that says!" was her comment as she handed the book back. Looking to see what she had read, I laughed because the whole sentence is essentially Geometry. Telling her so, I was greeted with a stony stare. I laughed and informed her that when she is studying math and someone foolishly says that they will never use fill-in-the-blank in the real world, she will know otherwise. Then I showed her an image of the spot described in the mystifying sentence from the book. She was marginally less unimpressed by Mom's choice of reading material once the math words were translated. Which is just as well since much of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots and those around her would make highly inappropriate reading for a 10 year old.
Still, having discovered that she is not quite ready to read Alison Weir, who is Mom's favorite author, perhaps Little Bit will consider giving Susan Cooper a trial read. I suspect The Dark is Rising will suit her penchant for fantasy and mystery well. Besides, a series has the benefit of telling more of the story as the author intends it to play out than a single novel can possibly cover. That should give Miss Erin plenty of fodder for her own elaboration and story lines to continue the tales as yet untold of Will Stanton.
*Weir, Alison: Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley (Random House, 2003), p.1