Monday, January 30, 2017

Lloyd Alexander


Happy birthday, Lloyd Alexander!

 

High fantasy lovers will enjoy delving into Alexander's five-book series, the Chronicles of Prydain or the Prydain Cycle.  These exciting books appeal more to fourth grades and up.  

 

Born in Pennsylvania on January 30, 1924, Alexander became a prolific write of about 40 books, most of them fantasies for children.  Among his book awards he won the Newbery Award for The High King in 1969 and the National Book Award for The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian in 1971, and again in 1982 for Westmark.  He passed away on May 17, 2007 in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, at age 83.

 

I read The High King, the final book in his Chronicles, to my fourth graders many years ago. The book kept them on the edge of their seats.  There are many characters, so I kept a chart of them to help us keep them straight, adding to it each time a new character was introduced.  This is one of the most suspenseful books I've read.  On this site there is a pronunciation chart of the names and additional interesting information.  

 

The names in the Chronicles of Prydain books are Welsh, so they doesn't make an easy read for a child without strong reading skills.  However, these books are great for reading aloud. If you haven't experienced Lloyd Alexander's writing, I urge you to do so.

Take a visit to Alexander's home, see some delightful photographs of him through the years, and hear him tell about himself and his writing in this wonderful three-part Youtube video

 

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