What: The Serial Garden: The Complete Family Armitage Stories by Joan Aiken is a collection of children’s stories written by Aiken. The Armitage family moves through a landscape reminiscent of the England of the Pevensies or Would-Be_Goods and they have the same, non-cloying sweetness to them.
Who: Read this if you’re a MG or YA author looking for inspiration. Or if you’re a parent looking for some solid reading to share with your children..
Why: Read it because Aiken knows how to construct a short story. Look at how deftly she weaves in elements, tying them all up in endings that are unpredictable but ineffably right.
When: Read it in the evenings, as befits fairy tales.
Where and How: Read it if you’re in the mind for a little gentle silliness and the ghost of a governess conducting midnight lessons.