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>The Favored Five

>As promised, here are Susan Cooper’s and Gregory Maguire’s five favorite fantasies as promulgated for our evening at MIT:


Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett (told you she was deep)
The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White


The Amazing Bone by William Steig
Father Fox’s Pennyrhymes by Clyde and Wendy Watson
The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton
A Step off the Path by Peter Hunt
It by William Mayne

The last makes me unable to resist my favorite Dorothy Parker line. In reviewing Elinor Glyn’s steamy It (1927), Parker wrote of the heroine, “It, hell. She had Those.”

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Elizabeth says:

    >Waiting for Godot?? Holy Cow. Did she elaborate?

    I’ve just added Pinter’s The Homecoming to my list of favorite middle grade novels. After all, I always say that my favorite books show ordinary families coping with life…

  2. >Omigod, they are all favorites of mine, except the last two, which I don’t know and shall search out. I read most of them to my grandchildren (well, not Godot…). Thanks, Roger, and happy New Year to you and yours!

  3. >Father Fox’s Pennyrhymes! Somehow, with that pick, everything I’ve always believed to be wonderful about Gregory Maguire just doubled itself. Wow. Not sure how that works, but … I do love that book. Possibly almost as much as I love Wicked.

  4. SamRiddleburger says:

    >My mind has just been blown. I never thought of Father Fox’s “world” as a fantasy “world,” but of course it is, and it’s one I’d like to visit.

    Perhaps Maguire will write the backstory — “Sausages and Sauerkraut: The Novel” — explaining why the foxes are free and the pigs are locked up and how it is that the pigs get out and run rampant sometimes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    >Those what? I don’t get it. or It.

  6. Roger Sutton says:

    >As one of the Algonquin wags might put it when too drunk for fresher bon mots, the dame was STACKED.

  7. New At 121 says:

    >Dear me, I’ve just stumbled across your blog in google-searching for Boston-area readings by Susan Cooper, and it appears I’ve only JUST missed the biggest event of all (the MIT event with you, Maguire, and her). Do you happen to know, perchance, of any future appearances she’s making, or a better place I might search for such dates?

    I should include a note here to say that your blog is witty and lovely, and I’ve enjoyed reading what few entries I’ve seen.

    I can be contacted here (, though I’ll also check back on your blog every so often to see if there are any related updates.

    Happy Spring-

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