Knee-Knock Rise

Natalie Babbitt, one of my favorite author of children’s books, was born on July 28, 1932.

In an interview with Scholastic Books she explained, “ I write for children because I am interested in fantasy and the possibilities for experience of all kinds before the time of compromise. I believe that children are far more perceptive and wise than American books give them credit for being.”

She wrote a wonderful essay-

“The Purpose of Literature – and Who Cares?” written in 1989 which can be found at-

Another fantastic find- Babbitt, Natalie. “Fantasy and the Classic Hero.” School Library Journal. 34.2 (Oct.1987): 25-29 . However, I couldn’t find it available online. I have a xerox copy of this article. She outlines the typical cycle a ‘hero’ goes through. The children that I shared this framework with found it very helpful in their reading and discussions about their reading.

While she is probably best known for Tuck Everlasting. My favorites include Search for Delicious, Knee-knock Rise, and The Something. I have taught these books to third graders.

Search for Delicious– Product Description (ISBN 0374465363, Paperback)

The Prime Minister is compiling a dictionary, and when no one at court can agree on the meaning of “delicious,” the King sends his twelve-year-old messenger, Gaylan, to poll the citizenry. Gaylan soon discovers that the entire kingdom is on the brink of civil war, and must enlist help to define “delicious” and save the country.

Knee-Knock Product Description (ISBN 0374442606, Paperback)

From the moment young Egan arrives in Instep, he senses the spell cast over the villagers by the Megrimum–the mysterious something that lurks on the mist-wreathed peak of Kneeknock Rise. Everyone shudders in horror–delicious horror–whenever the Megrimum’s unearthly wail floats down to the village. Before long, Egan is climbing the Rise to find a practical explanation for those wails.

The Something- Mylo…is afraid of an indefinable Something coming in through his window at night. Given some modeling clay by his concerned mother, he finally succeeds in making a statue of the Something…The clever, ironic story interprets common childhood fears of the dark in a way that should prove highly amusing to many small children.”–Starred/Booklist

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 24 Apr 2009 07:58:20 -0400)