For anyone who is a sci-fi/fantasy reader like I am, know that in the time it takes to read this post, you are in friendly company. Maybe you’ve even had some similar experiences to mine. My friends just look at me curiously when I start talking about creatures that are “kind of like dragons, but just the evil people have them, the one’s that can throw fire out of their hands and have black specks floating across their eyes”… yeah, I don’t have too many book conversations. I’m slightly in hiding about my reading preferences. When someone asks what kind of books I read, or the dreaded “what’s that book about?” question, I go a little red in the face just mentioning the word “fantasy.” I don’t know how you would even start to discuss most of the books I read in a book club. I get many suggestions to read life-altering biographies, amazing mysteries, and wonderful novels based on a real events from my book-loving friends. I nod and smile, all the while thinking about the huge series of books that take place in another world (where people still ride horses, but can fly in their sleep) that is waiting for me on my nightstand at home as soon as the kids go to bed.
You see, I really love my books to be a get-away… a place so fantastic and incredible that there is nothing in it even close to my everyday life. It’s like a mini vacation every time I start flipping pages. Not that I never read anything “real,” it’s just that even when I was a kid, I would automatically veer toward the shelf at the library full of different worlds, people with extra limbs, eyes, or special “talents” like telecommunication with trees, and MAGIC! Maybe you’ve noticed kids in your life who do the same? To me it’s like the difference between watching the news and watching your favorite movie. And honestly, sometimes I have just had enough of the real world.
If you’ve ever lost yourself in a series of monumental proportions (like Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time,” especially if you make it through the the 10th or 11th book and you’re still going strong) you may rest assured, I consider you a sister or brother in the book world. Even though we may never meet in a literary discussion, and you may occasionally feel a small level of guilt like I do that you’re not spending your free time with John Steinbeck or Edith Wharton, we are still reaping as many benefits from reading as everyone else—and so will the children in our lives, no matter what they choose to read.
Whether you are like me, completely the opposite of me, or have no idea what I’m talking about, there is a decent chance that one of the kids you interact with every day may need just a little push to find joy, wonder, or a little daily vacation in a book. So give the fantasy/sci-fi genre a fair chance. Who knows—one day soon the children in your life may be conquering their first 900 page tome about something that you think is ridiculous!
Here are some great Stone Arch titles that may start the ball rolling: