By Maria Tatar
Release Date: March 2, 2009
Publisher: W.W. Norton
Buy this book: Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Highly illuminating for parents, vital for students and book lovers alike, Enchanted Hunters transforms our understanding of why children should read.
Ever wondered why little children love listening to stories, why older ones get lost in certain books? In this enthralling work, Maria Tatar challenges many of our assumptions about childhood reading. Much as our culture pays lip service to the importance of literature, we rarely examine the creative and cognitive benefits of reading from infancy through adolescence. By exploring how beauty and horror operate in C. S. Lewis'sThe Chronicles of Narnia, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, and many other narratives, Tatar provides a delightful work for parents, teachers, and general readers, not just examining how and what children read but also showing through vivid examples how literature transports and transforms children with its intoxicating, captivating, and occasionally terrifying energy. In the tradition of Bruno Bettelheim's landmark The Uses of Enchantment, Tatar's book is not only a compelling journey into the world of childhood but a trip back for adult readers as well. 30 illustrations.
This book was a great read and very illuminating. Maria Tatar is a teacher of folklore and children's literature at Harvard University. It is extremely well written and examines why children read what they do and the effect stories have on us in our childhood. Maria was very thorough in examining the classics we all had grown up with and their hold on us from when we first read them right through to our adulthood. I enjoyed this book immensely and was sorry that it was finished.
As Maria said "I hope readers of this book will understand as I did in the process of writing it the power of stories. The way that they bond us, the way that they bring adults and children together into a world that arouses wonder, curiosity and kindles the power of imagination".
As an avid reader who has been enchanted by the power of a well told story I hope that this book enlightens you as it did me in the mechanics of great storytelling.