Books: Liberating Youthful Spirits

A seasonal menagerie of appealing creatures

When he was asked about his audience, C.S. Lewis, author of the classic Narnia tales, refused to comment on the "difficult relations between child and parent or child and teacher." An author, he thought, "as a mere author, is outside all that. He is not even an uncle. He is a freeman, like the postman, the butcher, and the dog next door." This year, eleven outstanding books seem to have been composed by liberated spirits, outside the family but intensely interested in it. If the dog next door met any one of them, it would surely set its tail in wildly...

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