Our incredibly brave Year 7s have been delving into the twisted and tortured world of John Connolly’s alternative Fairy Tale ‘The Book of Lost Things’. The culmination of a unit’s work on Fairy Tales, John Connolly’s world is full of danger, darkness and the unknown. Students began with time-honoured Tales from Oscar Wilde, of unselfish acts, heroes and morals, and have now travelled into the upside down. Into a world of irascible dwarves, half-human half-animal corruptions, harpies, trolls, a gluttonous and disgusting snow-white, hideous beasts and the terrifying Huntress. The most chilling of all characters however, has to be The Crooked Man, dangerous and cruel, he represents the most debase instincts in us all. Connolly has take classic Fairy Tales and subverted all literary traditions within them, in his world, expect the unexpected.
The novel follows David, a very untypical anti-hero, selfish and petulant, who after the death of his mother, travels into a new world overcome with spite and bitterness. On his journey to get back home he must battle with all-manner of creatures and overcome his most intimate fears, lest he become a half-human half-animal abomination himself, or fall to the jaws of the Loups and remain forever in the forest as a soul-child flower.
Student’s work on this unit has been spectacular with the products of their imaginations being, in some instances, even more terrifying than those in the novel! They have created; the souls of children trapped forever as flowers, they have drawn The Beast, they have argued over which half-animal and human creation world make the best prey. The students now, as the unit draws to a close and they begin tackling their essays, must ask themselves; will David make it home? Will he vanquish The Crooked Man and overcome those same flaws in his own nature? Will he even survive….?