Recently, my nine year old started reading the Harry Potter series. So, of course we had to buy the last three movies (we already had the rest) and, of course, all of the conversations I have had with him lately surround wands and spells and magic.
I can't even begin to explain how pleased I am that he has taken an interest in reading them-- I was given the first by my cousin a few weeks before my wedding and I was immediately hooked. And, as you know, I have a healthy obsession with reading (and writing), so it makes me very proud to have passed that on to both of my children. (The little one is learning to read now!) But that isn't the only reason that I am happy he has picked up Harry Potter. He could be reading anything. The reason I am happy he chose Harry Potter is for the magic.
The real world can be scary, draining, and downright mean. Especially for a kid who doesn't always fit in with the rest (he got that from me, too). It's so nice to see him completely enchanted by the magic in these books. Whether he's asking me about his patronus or running through the house swishing a wand and shouting spells from the books, he is knee deep in imagination and wonder. That's the real benefit here.
Last year he learned the truth about a certain man in a red suit and I watched as his innocence started to slip away. With this new-found interest in the work of witches and wizards, he may just be able to hang onto it for a little longer.
I, too, love magic. That's why I am such a lover of fairy tales, why I started reading magical realism, and why I have begun to try my hand at writing it. I want magic to be real just about as much as my son does. Magical realism gives me that. It isn't a fantasy world where is a way of life (not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just not my cup of tea); it's a normal world where the touched by the tiniest bit of magic which has existed for so long that people have begun to accept it as 'just the way things are'.
So, if you want to try a little magic in your every-day, curl up with a magical realism tale, a cozy blanket, and a cup of tea. Need some inspiration? Check the list below for some of my favourite books and authors.
Magical Books for Crisp Spring Nights
(or any other time you choose)
Fairy Tales-- anything by the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson
Anything by Sarah Addison Allen-- my favs are Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen
Anything by Alice Hoffman-- my favs are Practical Magic and The Probable Future
The Sparrow Sisters: A Novel by Ellen Herrick
The Secrets of Ghosts by Sarah Painter
The Secret Ingredient of Wishes: A Novel by Susan Bishop Crispell
Second Star to the Right by Mary Alice Monroe
The Dress Shop of Dreams: A Novel by Menna van Praag
The Wishing Thread: A Novel by Lisa Van Allen
The River Witch by Kimberly Brock