Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite writers, so when my girls were old enough to watch Howl's Moving Castle, I was pretty excited. When they enjoyed the movie, I was even more excited. When I tried to read them the book, and they wandered off, bored, I lost a great deal of my excitement.
Obviously I am going to have to wait a few years for them to mature enough to appreciate her writing style. Not to mention the subtle humor in the book version of Howl's Moving Castle (a great deal of which was lost in the movie, in my opinion. The movie was good in its own way - it was just rather disappointing to see some of my favorite aspects of the book cut out. But then, that's a topic for another blog.)
The girls' disinterest, however, does not dismay me! I have detailed plans to lure my children over to my side of the fence. To begin, I'll buy my favorite copies of her books, and leave them lying around on the bookshelves to entice their interest. All I have to do is be patient. I'll snare them eventually.
The first book on my list is Dogsbody. Sirius, the Dog Star, is convicted of the murder of another luminary. He is exiled to the body of a dog here on Earth, and adopted by Kathleen. Kathleen is an orphan, in the custody of a neglectful uncle and cruel aunt. Sirius is the only one who loves her, and she loves him back. Unfortunately, someone is trying to kill Sirius and the only way to save himself is to find a missing weapon. Finding the missing weapon, though, will restore him to his rightful form and separate him from Kathleen forever.
Next would be Charmed Life, followed by the rest of her Chrestomanci books. Charmed Life is about Cat and his sister Gwendolyn, two orphans who are taken in by the great Chrestomanci, who is not quite what he seems. But then, neither are Cat and Gwendolyn.
Oh, decisions, decisions. What next? I think Archer's Goon, followed by The Eight Days of Luke. In Archer's goon, Howard comes home from school one day to find a very large, thuggish-looking man sitting in his family's kitchen. He says he's from Archer, and he's come to collect the 2,000 words Howard's father owes Archer.
The Eight Days of Luke is one I've written about before. David is astonished, after shouting a bunch of nonsense words, to find he has apparently freed another boy, Luke, from where he was imprisoned. Luke is nice enough, but he turns out to be a rather dangerous friend.
That should be enough to start with. I can add as they go along. Unfortunately, a lot of her books are out of print, so it will take me a while to find copies of everything I want at a price I can afford.
Y'know, since the out of print books are so hard to find, maybe I'll just keep those books to myself and let the girls read them after they've proven their book handling skills. Yeah? Maybe? Hey, plans were made to be changed!
Books: Diana Wynne Jones