The ideas behind the books

These more general articles discuss some of the ideas that surround the books I have reviewed. See if you agree or disagree.

Deeper into the Land of Narnia

More than a brilliant fantasy for children, the Chronicles of Narnia illustrate many powerful characters and themes from the Bible.

Power tends to corrupt

What would you do if you held the fate of the world in your hands?

Whitbread Prize for The Amber Spyglass

Can children's literature now take its proper place within contemporary literature?

Is Harry Potter really evil?

Should Harry Potter be excluded from the classroom because he's a wizard?

Censorship, morality and the law

Was the book you've just finished reading censored, do you think?

About 'I am David' by Anne Holm

A book with a confusing background.

No pain, no gain

Reading is a skill that you learn, like developing your backhand volley.

The Battle of Good Against Evil

Just because your book is fantasy fiction it doesn't follow that what you're reading isn't about real life ...

The Power of Naming

Knowing the name of someone or something is a strong kind of magic ...


Merlin, son of a devil, fabulously powerful, all-seeing, adviser to the young King Arthur. Did you know that at this very moment he lies in an enchantment under a great stone on a desolate moor ... ?

The Snow Queen

If you look you can find the Snow Queen all around you ...


I love a good boggart ...

Time Travel

We have to face up to the fact that there is probably no such thing as time travel ...

Into a Parallel Universe

Where can they be, all these parallel universes?


Utopia. We use the word to mean Paradise, but can we really create a Paradise on earth some time in the future?

Following in our father's footsteps

Have you ever come across a beautiful clean-washed beach with virgin golden sands and then walked backwards across it, or hopped, for half a mile, just to leave a cryptic puzzle for the next person who comes along?