The Start of the Never End

It’s been a while since I was looking for a successor to Harry Potter. And I finally might have found one.

I didn’t look for myself, but for my son who is hooked (who am I kidding here? for my son and myself!). The deal for my son is that he has to read the book before he watches the movie, but I’m not sure it’s exactly an incentive, because he wants to read all of Harry Potter all the time. We started when he was 7, and I read aloud part of the book, letting him read a few pages during the day before I picked up the book again at bedtime. The second book of Harry Potter was for Christmas, and the third came with his 8th birthday in June. The book was finished midway into our trip to Scotland (bringing an anxious discussion about what should he read next, and what kind of French book for kids is available in Scotland – answer: none, so we tricked our way to downloading some titles on my Kindle!)

The road leading to the 4th tome of Harry Potter will be long, so I was looking for sagas and bestsellers appropriate for him, but then a few days ago, when I opened my internet browser at work, Google had a Doodle celebrating the 37th anniversary of The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I knew I was on to something big!

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a pair of chubby little hands

Anyway, I just couldn’t wait for the next trip to the library, where I grabbed a copy of The Neverending Story, and I started reading it to my boys. It was an instant hit! Dragons, boys on a quest, creatures of all kinds and dimensions (my little one was fascinated by the tiny people who ride on racing snails and beat up the other delegations – clearly a personal fantasy of revenge).

We have been reading every night, and as I don’t know the story myself it’s also fun for me to discover new adventures (I don’t know where I was in the 1980s when the movie came out… mmh, I bet I was immersed into The Hobbit). We love it so much that, before returning the book to the library tomorrow, I had to buy the book (hardback no less, since the paperback is no longer available).

A few descriptions are a bit too long for the kids and the little one often interrupts to make sure he understands which character is good and which one is evil, but my 8-year-old is riveted. He clearly projects himself into Bastian and Atreju. We’re about one third into the book and it has done miracles to our evening routines so far.

Have you read it as a child or later? Do you remember the movie?

 

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4 thoughts on “The Start of the Never End

  1. I’ve actually never read the book NOR have I seen the movie, despite most of my friends being in love with it and being a child of the 80’s. But the reaction of you kids has me thinking that I’ll need to read this with my son. He’s five, and so far we’re still sticking with easy readers and picture books. We’ve not yet tried a longer book. Perhaps I should wait a year or two?

    • Yes, if he likes dragons and such you could totally start this one with him in one or two years, but still as a read-aloud since I do skip over lengthy descriptions and switch words for simpler vocabulary as I read.

  2. I didn’t read this book or see the movie when I was a child, and I have been given to understand that missing the movie was a tragic loss. I enjoyed the book even though I didn’t have nearly as gorgeous a copy as yours seem to be. Does it have illustrations throughout?

    • I rarely buy hardbacks, but it was the only edition available, and the nice illustrations are an added, unexpected bonus. They are just on the first page of each chapter, so I pause, show them and let my sons imagine what’s going to happen before we return to (hopefully) uninterrupted (ahem) reading.

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