King Arthur to the Rescue

King Arthur has proved to be a popular figure in myth and legend ever since he first showed up in the written word back in the 12th Century.  McLure Library has a variety of retellings of these Celtic myths for a wide range of ages and interests.  There are several children’s series (they also appeal to YA’s and adults) that are popular with reader’s starting about Grade 4.  Two of the most popular for this age group are the series by Susan Cooper and Lloyd Alexander.

Susan Cooper wrote The Dark is Rising Sequence starting in 1965 and the series became a Children’s and Young Adult Best Seller.  The series is based on a combination of Arthurian legends, Celtic mythology, and Norse mythology that makes for a potent mash-up.  McLure has the entire sequence of 5 titles (our copies are well worn due to their popularity) in the collection starting with the first in the series Over Sea, Under Stone.

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The other titles in this series are: Dark is Rising, Greenwitch, Grey Kingand Silver on the Tree.  The Grey King won the Newbery Medal for excellence in Children’s Literature in 1975 and the concluding title in the series, Silver on the Tree was published in 1977.

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The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander is a pentology of Children’s High Fantasy that were published between 1964 and 1968.  These novels are also a combination of Welsh mythology and Arthurian legend.  The titles in this series are, in order: Book of ThreeBlack Cauldron, Castle of llyr, Taran Wanderer, and The High King.  There was a book of short stories published in 1973, Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain, that Mclure does not have in the collection.    The Black Cauldron was a Newbery Honor Book in 1966,  The High King won the Newbery Medal in 1969, and the series has remained popular through the years.