fantasy and science fiction book reviews  Havelok the Dane (1964) Publisher: The legend of Havelok the Dane derives from events of the Viking period. It ells the story of how the young prince Havelok escapes from the clutches of his wicked guardian, assisted by Grim, a jovial fisherman, and lands on the desolate Lincolnshire coast at the place now known as Grimsby.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsKing Horn: A Medieval Romance — (1973) Ages 9-12. A retellings of the medieval romance King Horn.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsBeowulf — (1982) Ages 9-12. Publisher: This is the story of a young man who travelled far across the sea to fight two terrifying monsters-one who could rip a man apart and drink his blood, the other who lived like a sea-wolf at the bottom of a dark, blood-stained lake. His name was Beowulf, and his story was written down in Anglo-Saxon in the eighth century. Kevin Crossley-Holland retells the story for children in strong, rhythmical prose, with striking illustrations by Charles Keeping.fantasy and science fiction book reviews

Storm — (1985) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Annie loves everything about the marsh near her home, except for the stories of a ghost who roams there, and then one stormy night she faces her fear, when she must travel through the marsh to fetch the doctor to help deliver her sister’s baby.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Quest for Olwen — (1988) Ages 9-12. With Gwyn Thomas

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Tale of Taliesin (1992) Ages 9-12. With Gwyn Thomas. The authors of “Tales from the Mabinogion” present another retelling of Celtic legend. Ceridwen the witch is concerned about her ugly, unpleasant son, Morfran, so she works a spell which should turn him into the world’s wisest wizard. Unfortunately, things do not go according to plan.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsOutsiders — (2007) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Six strange and haunting stories, set in isolated communities inland and by the sea, where insiders stick together, and outsiders — a girl outlawed for her illegitimate child, a wild man who walks out of the sea — are regarded with suspicion. Kevin Crossley-Holland has a genius for reinventing folk tales in a way that makes the characters real people, whose thoughts and feelings are our own. This little collection brings together some of his finest and most admired retellings, including the three best-known of all, ‘The Green Children’, ‘Sea-Tongue’ and ‘The Wild Man’. Linked by ideas about exile and displacement, they make a thought-provoking book for our times, beautifully presented with line drawings by a notable artist.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsCrossing to Paradise — (2008) Young adult. Publisher: Gatty is a field girl on a manor. She has never seen busy London or the bright Channel, the snowy Alps of France or the boats in the Venetian sea. She has not sung in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem or prayed at the manger in Bethlehem — or been kidnapped, or abandoned, or kissed, or heartbroken. But all these things will change. As Gatty journeys with Lady Gwyneth and a prickly new family of pilgrims across Europe to the Holy Land, Kevin Crossley-Holland reveals a medieval world as rich and compelling as the world of today it foresees — and, in Gatty, a character readers will never forget.

Kevin Crossley-Holland Waterslain AngelsWaterslain Angels — (2008) Publisher: In the village of Waterslain in Norfolk, in the 1950s, a fragment from a carved angel’s wing is discovered. Maybe the wooden angels that once supported the church roof were not, after all, destroyed centuries ago, but spirited away to safety. Two children decide to find them. There are few clues, but a strange inscription on the church wall leads them into terrifying places – up to the top of the church tower, down a tunnel where they are nearly drowned. Annie dreams of the man who was sent in by Cromwell to smash up the church, and of angels flying and falling. For Sandy, whose father, an American airman, was recently killed, the angels bring comfort. The whereabouts of the angels becomes clear to them – but then they discover that other people are hunting for them, and are determined to stop the children at all costs. The friendship between the boy adjusting to a new life in his mother’s village, and the girl whose family have always lived on their remote farm, the haunting atmosphere of the Norfolk saltmarshes, and the strong sense of the past still present, give richness to a tense and fast-paced story of detection for younger readers.