R is for Ruth Chew and Iain Lawrence

R is for Ruth Chew.

For this year's A to Z I'm featuring books I've read based on the Reading Challenge.

Today's book is a book with magic. Of course there's Harry Potter and books by E. Nesbit, Susan Cooper, L. M. Boston, Alan Garner, and all sorts of other authors. But I don't think I've ever mentioned Ruth Chew on the blog before. She's the author of The Wednesday Witch and many other books. I've only ever read one: Second-hand Magic.

I never really sought out her other books because, actually, this one disturbed me a bit. The magic was a bit reckless, if I remember correctly, and the kids didn't always seem to be enjoying themselves.

I'd like to reread it and see if my impressions have changed.

Another book with magical elements, which I preferred, is Lord of the Nutcracker Men by Iain Lawrence, set during World War I.

The main character Johnny's father sends him carved soldiers with every letter he writes home from the front. But the soldiers reflect his father's suffering, and Johnny worries that whatever game he plays with the soldiers affects his father's fortunes in battle.

I'm always interested in stories set during World War I and World War II. Historian Claire Greer has compiled a very detailed and comprehensive history on the Road to War and Back blog, tracing the lives before, after, and during World War I of a select group of Australian enlistees, as well as their families, as part of the Landscape of Loss project. I urge you to check it out!

Which stories of magic have you enjoyed?


Hi Deniz - I can't remember, but I must have read some ... Ruth Chew's book sounds interesting and I now want to read why it disturbed you!!

The Nutcracker Men I've never heard of - again sounds a good informative read ... sad about the toy soldiers ..

Then your lady with her blog - on the Australian enlistees ... a different experience to ours here ... I did write about the Longest War Memorial, which the returners from the first War built, when I wrote about Australia and its coast in June last year .. links on the blog.

I must check Claire's blog .. thanks for more interesting information - cheers Hilary
Michael Di Gesu said…
Hi, Deniz,

I never read either of these authors. But I find the Lord of the Nutcracker Men very interesting. A very different type of magical read....
Maybe you should go back and see if that first one is still disturbing.
Su-sieee! Mac said…
Both novels sound interesting. I don't read books around magic much. I don't know why, because the few that I have, I enjoyed. I'll check out these authors. Also the blog. That one may be something my friend may like. Thanks.
Take 25 to Hollister
The View from the Top of the Ladder
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks, Hilary, Michael, and Mac!
Alex, I would go back -- if only it wasn't in storage! I miss my books. What I should have done is started a running list of all the books I keep thinking of that I'd like to pull out from storage...

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