Title: Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising sequence, book 3)
Author: Susan Cooper
Length: 147 pages
Plot Basics: All the work that Simon, Jane and Barney Drew did to recover the grail seems to be lost when the artifact is stolen in a museum break-in. The children and their Great Uncle Merriman Lyon know that the theft wasn’t the work of just any thieves, but agents of the Dark, trying to reclaim one of the Things of Power. Merriman recruits the three Drew children and Will Stanton to accompany on a week-long holiday back in Cornwall. But the week is hardly a holiday as a local rite – the creation of the Greenwitch – is wrapped up in the next piece of the struggle between Light and Dark.
Banter Points: Again, this is a fantastic fantasy series for kids. It’s classic good against evil, with a fun dash of British mythology thrown in. Word Nerd really liked to see Will Stanton interacting with the Drew children in this book. He’s a compelling character and was a nice contrast to the sometimes whiny-seeming Drews.
Bummer Points: The Dark wasn’t nearly scary enough in this book. In “Over Sea, Under Stone,” Mr. Hastings and a few others were acting as the agents of the Dark. Same for the Rider in “Dark is Rising.” While there was a bad guy in this book, he never had a name. As is understood in most books dealing with some kind of magic, names have power, and leaving this character unnamed didn’t heighten the mystery, but made it harder to believe this character had malevolent intentions.
Word Nerd Recommendations: Adults and kids still yearning for something to read in the Harry Potter vein should check these out. The Dark is Rising sequence doesn’t have the humor of HP, but the basic good vs. evil plot should be appealing.