Wow. I sure am doing a lot of talking about the things I loved to read as a kid, aren’t I? In an effort not to repeat myself, PRETEND I NEVER SAID any of the others were my favourites, ‘kay? JUST PRETEND! We’re also going to go ahead and acknowledge that I’ve done all the talking about Tolkien I’m likely to do for a while (if you somehow missed it, check out this linkapalooza), so now I have to find SOMETHING ELSE to talk about. As chance would have it, I was just discussing these books earlier with a new friend, and even managed to convince Kate to read them (Non-Sneaky Fuckerism totally works for me. Sorry, guys.) so I am counting that as a win.
Favourite Childhood Book
So, really – this is
totally kind of cheating. Support Your Local Wizard is actually the first three books in the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane (the first three being So You Want to Be a Wizard, Deep Wizardry and High Wizardry).
I found this (at the time) omnibus at a yard sale when I was 11 or 12. I think I paid 50¢ for it. FOR THREE BOOKS, SUCH A DEAL! I read the first few pages while I was standing around waiting for my mom to finish digging for cast iron pots, and was sad when I had to stop reading to walk back to the car. If I hadn’t had to carry other things, I probably would have read while walking.
Juanita Callahan is a 13 year old girl running away from her bullies. Like me, she had difficulty knowing how/when to keep her mouth shut, and as a result she was beat up frequently. She ducks into her local library (where of course the librarian knows her) to hide, and runs down to the children’s room in the basement. She has fond memories of hours spent there, reading as she was growing up and thinks of the books on the shelves as her old friends.
As she runs her hand along the spines of her old pals, one catches on her finger. It’s mixed in with the So You Want to Be a [insert occupation here] series, but this is one she’s never seen before – and Nita has read every damn thing that tiny children’s room has to offer.
So You Want to Be a Wizard.
Of course, she thinks it’s a joke at first. But she still checks it out. It’s not a joke.
Even though I was on my way out of childhood at this point, I still had enough belief in faeries and magic left to be completely swept completely up in this series.
I re-read them all (More have come out! There are 9 now [I haven't read the most recent, but I'm correcting that right away]! With another next year!) a few summers ago, and was delighted to learn that they are still just as amazing as I remembered them being.
They’re not just children’s books – they tackle hard subjects, and Duane’s world-building is of the top notch variety.
I think I’m going to give these to my oldest son to read soon. I know he’ll love them just as much as I still do.
Wizards love words. Most of them read a great deal, and indeed one strong sign of a potential wizard is the inability to get to sleep without reading something first. But their love for and fluency with words is what makes wizards a force to be reckoned with.