92 pages 3 hours read

Susan Cooper

The Dark Is Rising

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1973

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The Dark Is Rising

  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade fantasy
  • Originally Published: 1973
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 920L; grades 5-8
  • Structure/Length: 3 parts; 13 chapters; approx. 320 pages; approx. 8 hours, 42 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: On his 11th birthday, Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones—immortals charged with defending against the Dark. His quest begins for six Signs destined to aid in the battle between Light and Dark.

Susan Cooper, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1935 in England; moved to the US in 1963; writer of plays, screenplays, picture books, and novels for adults as well as young readers; best known for The Dark Is Rising series
  • Other Works: The Dark Is Rising (series); Seaward (1983); King of Shadows (1999); Ghost Hawk (2013)
  • Awards: Boston Globe—Horn Book Award (1973); Carnegie Medal Honor Book (1973); Newbery Honor Book (1974)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Coming-of-Age As a Leap Into the Adult World
  • Dark May Be Evil but Good Is Not Nice
  • The Reality and Timelessness of Myth

STUDY OBJECTIVES:  In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of what is involved in a coming-of-age story based on Will’s experiences and what he learns from them.
  • Analyze paired texts and other brief resources to make connections via the text’s theme of The Reality and Timelessness of Myth.