I heard about a cool new YA fantasy series yesterday on All Things Considered – did you hear the show too? It’s called The Dragon’s Tooth by N.D. Wilson and it’s about two very normal American kids living in a roadside motel in Michigan who one day inherit a dragon’s tooth keyring by a dying old man at the hotel. As it turns out, that key ring opens the door to a secret order of explorers (in the middle of Michigan!), in which they become swept up.
The coolest bit of the interview was when Wilson elaborated on his goals in writing the book. He wanted to create a fantasy world that American kids could connect with and which was actually attainable to some degree. He did this by blending reality with fantasy so well that they are almost indistinguishable. The magic the kids learn is not wand-waving, spell-casting that requires super powers (at least, I don’t think it does), but comes from hard work and study (they study Latin, for example). Wilson wanted to send the message to kids that their Americana world is just as incredible as any Narnia, Middle Earth and Hogwarts.
‘Indeed, much of Wilson’s story focuses on kids who empower themselves to overcome…”The impetus is entirely on them,” Wilson says, to make themselves extraordinary.’
I haven’t read any fantasy since I was a kid, but I have dabbled in children’s and YA literature as an adult, so I’m thinking it may be time to return to the trusty genre. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for fantasy literature; as a bored, TV-watching, reading-phobic kid, fantasy pulled me out of my funk and convinced me that reading was fun. Fantasy made me into the book worm I am today.
What about y’all? Have you heard of this book, The Dragon’s Tooth? What’s your relationship with fantasy? And I’m curious, do you remember the exact book that made you into a reader? This was mine.
(Quote from the Author Interview on NPR)