Collected Wisps of Thought











{May 17, 2007}   Lloyd Alexander

Lloyd Alexander has passed away. He was a wonderful author of children’s fantasy novels and a great man. I’d like to share this story in his honor because I think it speaks so highly of his character and his generosity of spirit.

My sister and I grew up reading Lloyd Alexander’s books. When we were young my family read them out loud and loved them. When my sister’s first two children were old enough, she was excited to share the experience with them, so together they read his books out loud, too.

Now, my sister is very different from me in terms of personality. Whenever we go see a play, April waits outside the door and asks for autographs. Sometimes, to my mortification, she even goes inside the doors and asks if the celebrities will come out. I could tell you many such stories… So when April, Jen, and Chris finished reading Lloyd Alexander’s books, she decided she wanted to call him and have the kids tell him in person how much they liked them. She found his number on-line, picked up the phone, and… called him.

I couldn’t believe she’d done that! But Lloyd said he was thrilled that they’d called. This was pre-Harry Potter and his books had reached a quieter place where he seldom heard from children anymore. It turned out that he and his wife lived right near where I was going to college, and since this fact came up in conversation, he invited April, the kids, and me, to come over and visit.

We went to his house one afternoon and he welcomed us in, and showed us all around, including the many pieces of art related to his stories. He talked to me about writing since I was then a starry eyed dreamer, and gave each of us signed books.

To this day, it amazes me that he was so open, generous, and kind. He made us feel so good, as if somehow we were the ones doing him a favor by appreciating his books, while the whole time it was his wonderful stories that have brought  pleasure to generations of my family.

What a beautiful man, what a life well lived, and what an example to live up to! He will be missed. If you haven’t read his books, treat yourself to some wonderful stories.

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Ryan says:

I can’t believe Lloyd Alexander passed away and I didn’t hear about it. I must have read the Prydain and Westmark trilogies 15 times a piece as a child. It’s sad every time we lose a wonderful storyteller like him, someone able to appreciate and extoll the importance of wonder and innocence in an increasingly cynical world.



Nicole says:

My mom, Donna McDine, recently finished a book review of “The Garden of Eve,” and fowarded it to you at your request. She gave me the book to read and I really loved it. I’m going to suggest the book to all of my friends and family. I want to read the rest of your books because I I enjoy how you write. In school we are reading fantasy/science fiction books. We got to choose a book and I chose “The Devil’s Arithmetic”. When I was reading your book I could picture all of the scenes in my imagination. My friend said that she really wants to read the book because I told her about “The Garden of Eve” and I told her that it is really good. We always exchange books because we have the same taste in books.



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