Monday, January 22, 2007

Here There Be Dragons

Owen, James. A. 2006. HERE THERE BE DRAGONS. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1416912274 [Suggested Grade Levels 7-12]

When Professor Sigurdsson is murdered on the fifteenth of March 1917, it is up to three Oxfordians--John, Jack, and Charles--to complete the professor’s unfinished business. Their task is to assume responsibility of the world’s greatest literary treasure: the Imaginarium Geographica. Pursued by Sigurdsson’s murderers, the three are led by a mysterious guide, Bert, to his ship the Indigo Dragon. But the adventures are just beginning as they set sail for a land most would never dream of reaching: the Archipelago of Dreams which “all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fable and fairy tale, can be found within.”

As our heroes find out, however, these imaginary realms are just as real and dangerous as their own. Their adventures sailing the seas, meeting dragons--along with plenty of other memorable characters--might just inspire each to pen their own unforgettable stories one day for these three are none other than J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.

RELATED BOOKS Owen draws from a rich historical legacy of fantasy—Jules Verne, Lewis Carroll, William Shakespeare, H.G. Wells, etc., in addition to Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams. Discuss Owen’s use of literary allusions. Did his allusions detract from or enhance his novel?

The Inklings were a gathering of friends most of them teachers at Oxford University, many of them creative writers and lovers of imaginative literature who met regularly. The three key figures of the Inklings were J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams. Use the Internet to research these literary legends.

Other parallel fantasy novels include:
Beddor, Frank. THE LOOKING GLASS WARS. ISBN 0803731531
Skelton, Matthew. ENDYMION SPRING. ISBN 0385733801

By Becky Laney

No comments: