Sonderbooks

Sonderbooks Book Review of

Dark Hedges, Wizard Island, and Other Magical Places That Really Exist

by L. Rader Crandall


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Dark Hedges, Wizard Island, and Other Magical Places That Really Exist

by L. Rader Crandall

Review posted March 3, 2021.
Running Press Kids (Hachette), Philadephia, 2020. 122 pages.
Review written October 3, 2020, from a library book

What a fun idea! This book tells about thirty-seven places in the world that have legends about them. The author tells the legends as if they actually happened, and who’s to say they didn’t? With each place, there’s at least one photograph.

I was hooked because the book begins with the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, one of my favorite places I ever visited during ten years living in Europe. I’ve only been to four of the other places, but it certainly expanded my list of places I’d like to go.

Here’s an excerpt from the author’s note to the reader at the front of the book:

Take a stroll among the shelves of your local bookshop, search your favorite websites, or download the latest app and you’re bound to discover a trove of helpful travel guides. They will lead you to the finest hotels, tell you which dishes to order in restaurants far and wide, and explain which shops sell the most authentic souvenirs. You’ll find lists of museums acclaimed for their exhibits, maps of city blocks renowned for their architecture, and suggestions of venues famous for their concerts and sports matches. They are all very useful, ideal for the practical traveler.

This is not that sort of book.

Herein lies a guide to our world for fans of the fantastic. On these pages, you’ll find places that seem the stuff of dreams – a remote island where dragons roam, distant shores where giants have battled, ancient castles enchanted by fairies – but that are, in fact, very real. They are places you can actually travel to, destinations you can explore, if only you know the way. Many are steeped in myths and legends from long ago that have been passed down over the centuries, while others have histories more fascinating than fairy tales.

This book may be responsible for giving imaginative kids the travel bug.