Book cover of Seaward

Book cover of the 1st edition.

“What is your favorite book?” Every time I hear this question, my head starts to spin a little bit. How can I possibly choose one book? As Dr. Ficke said in her post on Alice in Wonderland, this is a difficult question if you love books.

The book that I’ve chosen for this post is called Seaward by Susan Cooper. In it, two young people named West and Cally are each transported from a disastrous moment in their lives to a wild and surreal world. They don’t speak the same language and come from different countries, but they must journey together through the strange world until they reach the sea.

If my two-sentence summary of the book makes it sound at all interesting, pick it up and try it. Part of the reason I love Susan Cooper is for her use of language. When I read one of her books, I am swallowed up by her words and the depth of her narrative. I first learned about Cooper from a friend, who lent me all five books of The Dark is Rising sequence. Within a few weeks, I had devoured The Boggart as well. Seaward is similar to these other titles in language and skill, but the journey contained within is beautiful and inspiring.

National Book Festival 2013 Poster

2013 poster for the National Book Festival

During my summer travels, I was lucky enough to catch an exhibit on magical books at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford. Obviously, work by the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling was on display, but I was thrilled to note that the exhibit included many of Cooper’s works (especially The Dark is Rising sequence).

Seaward is sitting in my dorm room this fall for a specific reason. In just a few weeks, Susan Cooper will be coming to Washington DC as a part of the National Book Festival. Since Seaward is my favorite book of hers, I hope to have her sign my copy that weekend. I am very excited to meet one of my favorite authors, so I thought that writing about her work for this blog post would be both interesting and timely.