Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Cooper, Susan

New York : Atheneum, 1973.
IL 5-8 RL 7.0 .
ISBN 0689829833

(3 Booktalks)

Booktalk #1

An eleven year old Will Stanton recognizes that he is the last of the Old Ones, he has to dedicate his life to keeping the world from being conquered by the Dark evil force. He is drawn into a life beyond his normal routine and is thrilled to take on the quest for the Signs to get their power and return the world to warmth and light.

Booktalk #2

"When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone."

These mysterious words echo in Will Stanton's ears on the morning of his 11th birthday, the last day of his childhood.  For, as Will quickly learns, he is no mere boy, but the last of the immortal Old Ones, a race of magical beings destined since the beginning of time to do battle with the powers of evil that seek to destroy the land.  A great task is placed before him and Will is sent spiraling back and forth through time and space, seeking the six great Signs, which, together, will create a power strong enough to beat back the Dark.  He is aided by Merriman, the oldest of the Old Ones, but while Will strives to keep the forces of the Dark at bay, who will protect Will's family from the mysterious Dark Rider, a man who seems able to control the very weather itself?  (Miranda J. Hawkins,

Booktalk #3

Will Stanton is the seventh son of a seventh son, he is the last of the old people, and he is the Sign-Seeker. Along with Merriman and the old lady, he must destroy the dark before it destroys the light. Searching for the signs of fire, water, stone, wood, iron, and bronze, he must complete the circle of signs, which in one of the four things of the power(Golden Chalice, Circle of Signs, Sword of Crystal, and the Harp of Gold). Traveling in the past, future, underwater, and in fire, he gains the power of the old people and gains the signs. The first sign he receives is from a store owner, the sign of iron. The second he gets from the walker, and old man in this time, but in his own time he is known as Hawkins, Merriman's league man. He is taken in and out of his time to take the Book of Graymauer out of a magic clock. The thing is that the book can't be taken out without him, nor can you touch the clock when you touch the book. If so it'll blow up. Hawkins realizes this, knows that Merriman would risk his life just for Will. He turns to the dark along, being tricked by the Dark Rider. Neighbors and friends of Will's are both with the Dark and the Light. He discovers this along the way. The battle ends during a blizzard and everyone in town is staying at a neighbor’s, Ms. Greythorn, mansion. Will's sister Mary has been taken by the Rider, though she does not know that, and he throws her over a bridge. But will calls on the Hunter, a mystical and magical hunter, who with his hell-hounds and Hound of Doom chase off the Dark, and all other animals in the forest(they are quite terrifying. Everything goes back to normal and the Light is once again dominant. Mary is okay and rescued by Merriman. This is the second book in the old people series.  (Tracy Roope,, HCMS Library, Murfreesboro, NC) 

SUBJECTS:     England -- Fiction


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