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SFF Author: Susan Cooper

Susan Cooper (born 1935) is an award-winning author of children’s fantasy. The Grey King, part of her five-book sequence, The Dark Is Rising, won the Newbery Medal. The Dark Is Rising, the first book in the sequence, was the only Newbery Honor Book of its publication year. Two other books in the sequence were runners-up for Britain’s Carnegie Medal. Susan Cooper’s novel, King of Shadows, was awarded a Boston Globe — Horn Book Honor. Born in England, Susan Cooper was a reporter and feature writer for the London Sunday Times before coming to live in the United States. Her television screenplays for adults have received two Writers Guild Awards and two Emmy nominations.
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The Dark is Rising: Should not be overlooked

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Despite multiple awards and a talent that is up there with the best of the fantasy authors, Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series is often overlooked by readers in general. A five-part series, it deals with the battle between good and evil as waged by the Old Ones, several contemporary children, a range of mystical objects, and figures from history and legend. It sounds like pretty generic stuff, but Cooper’s gift lies in the telling of the story, and manages to take these well-trod aspects of the fantasy genre and turn them into something truly memorable.


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Greenwitch: Jane’s story

Greenwitch by Susan Cooper

Greenwitch is the third book in The Dark is Rising series, and it is necessary to be familiar with the first two books Over Sea, Under Stone and The Dark is Rising to fully understand what is going on in this volume. In the first book siblings Simon, Jane, and Barney uncovered the grail from its hiding place, but unfortunately lost the lead-incased manuscript that would decipher the inscription on the grail’s side. Now after the grail has been stolen from the museum,


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The Grey King: Newbery Medal winner

The Grey King by Susan Cooper

Although it is not my personal favourite, The Grey King, the fourth book in The Dark is Rising sequence is generally considered the best in the series, and is the winner of the Newbery Medal. Following on from the other books, Will Stanton (an Old One of the Light, who protects humanity from the forces of the Dark) travels to Wales, in order to fetch the golden harp, which in turn will wake the mysterious Sleepers, fulfilling the next part of the prophesy chronicling the battle between Light and Dark.


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Silver on the Tree: The final book of an immensely rewarding series

Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper

Silver on the Tree is the fifth and final book in The Dark is Rising series, and if you have never picked up the previous installments, then don’t start here — you won’t have a clue what’s going on. If, however, you have read Over Sea, Under Stone, The Dark is Rising, Greenwitch and The Grey King, then here is the big finale you’ve been waiting for.


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Tam Lin: Deftly retold for kids

Tam Lin by Susan Cooper

Anyone who is familiar with the ballad Tam Lin knows it’s a story that is very much for grown-ups, or at least teenagers. Susan Cooper does a very good job here of adapting the old story so that it’s suitable for any age. It requires changing a few plot elements, but the essential spirit of the story remains the same.

Margaret is tired of sewing and acting polite and talking about future husbands with the other girls at her father’s castle, so she runs away to the woods of Carterhays to pick flowers.


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The Boggart: Spritely, loveable, intriguing figure of Scottish legend

The Boggart by Susan Cooper

Susan Cooper is best known for her five-part The Dark is Rising series, a sequence of fantasy novels that any self-respecting lover of fantasy should have on their bookshelf. Among her lesser known works is the time-slip adventure King of Shadows, a picture book trilogy based on Celtic legends, and two stories chronicling the doings of a Scottish boggart: The Boggart and its sequel The Boggart and the Monster.

In the Western Highlands of Scotland lives a mysterious and mischievous spirit known as a boggart.


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King of Shadows: Historical fantasy for children

King of Shadows by Susan Cooper

Nat Fields is a young boy with a tragic family history who has just joined a new theatre group. Run by the eccentric Arby Babbage, Nat finds solace and escape from his past with the rehearsals of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Nat is to play the part of Puck, and despite some minor difficulties, Nat is happy with his role as an actor, especially as the director plans to make the performance as loyal as possible to the original performances (including having boys play the part of women).


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Next SFF Author: David Corbett
Previous SFF Author: Louise Cooper

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    Words fail. I can't imagine what else might offend you. Great series, bizarre and ridiculous review. Especially the 'Nazi sympathizer'…

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