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The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories (Junior Library Guild Selection) Hardcover – October 28, 2008
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About the Author
Top customer reviews
Of course, Joan Aiken's gift is for making the ordinary extraordinary. A family called the Armitages lives in a house where magical things tend to happen, often--but not always--on Mondays. Mark and Harriet and their parents simply keep an eye out for such happenings, participating with true British aplomb as well as gusto. It's a place where your great-uncle's mythic apple might attract the Greek Furies to your basement, your parents might be turned into ladybugs, or a quince tree might be stolen by a lady journalist who is also a witch. Where you might be asked to raise a baby griffin, which sounds like fun until you discover just how much the creatures can eat. Where little people prove to be much more grubby and querulous than Mary Norton's Borrowers, and where cutting a puzzle off the back of a cereal box may lead you to a spell that has trapped someone inside for a century.
Most of the stories are funny, and some of them are poignant. Any child who loves the Narnia books and isn't locked into sitcom-type story telling will find that Joan Aiken's Serial Garden is the real thing--a fantasy book that leaves you saying, "Ahhhh" after you finish it.
Joan Aiken is best known for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, one of my favorite books as a child (and as an adult). But if you want to find out how to handle two druids fighting in your backyard over a bathmat woven of beard hair, you really should read The Serial Garden.