Newbery award winner Cooper has collected 14 of her speeches in a compilation that should find a ready spot in library professional collections. The essays, presented in the order in which they were written, show an evolution in Cooper's thoughts about writing for children. When her The Dark Is Rising
was voted a 1974 Newbery Honor Book, Cooper barely knew what the Newbery award was, and only after attending that summer's ALA convention did she realize that there was a world of people who enjoyed nothing better than discussing children's books. By the last essay, she is a beloved author, who draws readers in to her celebration of the mystery of creativity and keenly appreciates the many messengers who bring her works to the attention of children. Along the way, Cooper also examines her childhood relationship with books and the effect of her immigration to the U.S. on her writing and demonstrates clearly how we can all participate in bringing the magic of reading into children's lives. Ilene Cooper
From the Publisher
Susan Cooper's sequence of fantasy novels has become a modern classic, internationally established on school and college reading lists and in the hearts of thousands of children. Writers of fantasy, says Cooper, deal in "myth, legend, folktale, the mystery of dream and the greater mystery of Time. With all that haunting our minds, it isn't surprising that we write stories about an ordinary world in which extraordinary things happen."
This fascinating collection of essays, compelling reading for any parent, teacher, librarian, or booklover, contains 20 years of an author's reflections on the nature of craft, imagination, and her young audience. Some of the topics are focused on fantasy; others range from the theater to literacy, from poetry to war.
Although Susan Cooper is also a gifted playwright and television screenwriter (Foxfire, The Dollmaker, To Dance with the White Dog), her novels for young adults contain her best work. Her concern for children's literature permeates Dreams and Wishes, making it a book that is both entertaining and disturbing. At the heart of Cooper's work is a passionate plea for the recognition, in an image-oriented world, of the all-encompassing power and value of the written word.