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Thursday, June 14, 2007

cover of Over Sea, Under Stone Since Lark read these, it reminded me of them and I wanted to read them too! The beginning of a great story. Or a set of stories. There is Light and Dark, and important battles to be fought. Three children (Simon, Jane, and Barney) get to spend a month with their parents and their great-uncle Merry on vacation in Cornwall. On a dreary rainy day, they decide to explore the house where they are staying as if it were uncharted territory, and 'happen' to discover a manuscript with a map. And are sent on a treasure quest. With the Dark seeking to subvert and steal them, and the Light gently protecting and aiding without taking over.

This book introduces Merry aka Merriman Lyon, who is a marvelously mysterious character. He is old and yet powerful. When he speaks, people listen and are willing to do as he suggests. Even adults seldom feel able to ask him questions -- he is trusted but not known. This seems so true of life -- sometimes we are asked to simply trust even though it doesn't seem reasonable or logical or safe. Not that Merry represents God or something that extreme .. but sometimes God asks us to go on 'quests' even if we don't feel 'protected enough' or 'safe enough' or exactly sure of what we are doing.

The map that the children find is not exactly a map, but more of a drawing. And there are specific signs to mark where the treasure is hidden. Simple signs that last through the ages. Each one is different but clearly the right one once the children are in the right place at the right time. To watch elementary aged children go questing is enjoyable. They don't have all the answers or know exactly what they are doing, but they are willing to ponder various options and discover clues many adults wouldn't have been willing to even think about. And the signs are simple .. how true that something so beautiful and old and priceless can be hidden away with a couple of simple signs, and yet stay hidden for ages. What things do we miss each day because we look only for what we expect to see?

Title:Over Sea, Under Stone
Author: Susan Cooper
Date published:1965
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: The Dark is Rising
Number of pages: 243
Notes: Repeat reading


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