The Hall Family Chronicles

Jane Langton, illustrated by Erik Blegvad

Here are some awesome things about Jane Langton and her Hall Family Chronicles, which were the ones I was devoted to:

  1. She came to my local library live and in person,
  2. Where she recommended Mistress Masham’s Repose, which I probably never would have read otherwise and obviously took to heart based on my decades-later longing for a home with some vaguely similar outdoor features;
  3. She lived in a town near me;
  4. The books she wrote were set in and around an actual house that you could drive by in a town near me;
  5. The books she wrote were about ordinary modern kids having magical adventures in and around an actual house in a town near me;
  6. She managed to work Transcendentalism in there too.

This was my first brush not only with an author live and in person but also with fantastic (in both senses of the word) books that showed magical things happening currently and locally. For me, a major implication of the Jane Langton books was that you didn’t have to hitch a ride in a tornado or travel through space and time or be born in a whole other world to experience magic. Magic could happen now, here, to kids like me.

Side note: As a young adult I got to spend a night in the Halls’ house. Nothing magical happened. It was thrilling.

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