I asked for The Neverending Story for Christmas last year, and I knew if I didn’t read it before this Christmas, there was no way I’d get the new books I’ve got on my list.
You’ve probably seen the movie, if not read the book. It’s a children’s book, but so well written that adults could get into it, too.
The book is basically in two parts: the first part, which the movie is about, is Bastian stealing the book The Neverending Story from a bookstore and taking it to school to read in the attic. While he’s reading, he learns that Fantasia* is in dange from The Nothing, and Atreyu, a young hunter, is sought out to find what’s killing Fantasia and The Childlike Empress. After finally finding out that the only thing needed to save Fantasia is to give The Childlike Empress a new name, Bastian does so and gets sucked into the story.
In the second half Bastian is instructed to rebuild Fantasia through wishes that are granted by Auryn, a pendant given to him by The Childlike Empress. Bastian doesn’t realize that he must get back to his world, that he can’t stay in Fantasia forever, and every wish that he makes wipes away part of his memory of Earth, so pretty soon he doesn’t even want to go back to Earth. But Atreyu, the good friend he is, sees these changes and tries to help Bastian, but Bastian rebuffs his friend and comes dangerously close to being stuck in Fantasia forever.
I had a great time with this book, with all of the imaginary creatures. I can’t wait to have children so that I can read this book with them and discuss some of the themes running through the book: friendship, power, love, family, and imagination.
Rating: 90 out of 100
*The book calls this other world Fantastica, but the movie calls it Fantasia, and I liked the movie better, so I’m calling it Fantasia.
Have you seen the movie? Read the book? The movie is hands down my favorite children’s movie.