Just found out something kind of interesting about me and J.K. Rowling . . .
When I was about 10-11 years old my mother showed me a book list from The Friend magazine. (Way back in the *olden* days of The Friend they used to do a list of monthly book recommendations.)
My mother said: "This sounds like a book you might like." She was often on the look-out for books I'd like to read. Probably trying to satiate my book appetite since I read constantly.
Next time I went to the library (which was about every couple of weeks to the city library - and nearly daily to the school library during lunchtime.) we checked out the book and I took it home with me.
The book was THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE by Elizabeth Goudge.
I gulped it down with my usual ferocity - and back when I was in elementary school I read nearly a book a day, rereading my favorites when I ran out of library books or my pile of Scholastic Book order Books.
THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE easily became my all-time favorite book of my childhood. I read it over and over again, wept, tingled with excitement, and was swept away in the mystery of the manor house and the magical setting and people and creatures. Plus I adore anything Victorian and English since my grandparents were immigrants from Leeds, England. It was my lifelong dream to go to England, although I didn't make it there until I was 40 years old.
. . . so for decades now if anybody asked me what my favorite book from childhood was, I automatically said, THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE.
An interesting thing always happened: Nobody else had ever heard of this book! Nobody else had ever read it!
And yet, the book is STILL IN PRINT AFTER 65 YEARS!!! And NO, I am nowhere near 65! The book was actually quite old when I read it, about 30 at the time.
It's a true Classic in my opinion, embodying all those wonderful, mysterious elements and fantastical people and creatures that children - and adults - love. I even read it during my busy college years when I found it on the library shelves at BYU. Just couldn't help myself!
During all these years I've never been able to discuss the book with anybody else - because nobody I've ever known has ever read the book - so imagine my surprise to find out yesterday that J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame and fortune, announces that THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE was her favorite book from childhood! Maybe she had more access to Elizabeth Goudge's books living in England because it is true that there was only one other book by Goudge in my hometown library and I never knew that she actually wrote lots and lots of books.(The other book was LINNETS AND VALERIANS. And yes, I own that, too.)
I love the re-issue cover of the book - so beautifully mysterious and luscious.
Maybe I need to buy another copy. I have one from about 10 years ago with a different cover.
Maybe I need to buy several and start passing them out!
Anybody out there ever read this book? Spill! Comment! Share the love!
Does anybody know a contemporary child who has read it? What do they think of it?
Go here to read about the book and a synopsis: http://www.elizabethgoudge.org/Postings/The%20Little%20White%20Horse.htm
The Elizabeth Goudge Website and Society here: http://www.elizabethgoudge.org/Index.htm
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