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Welcome to another installment of the A-Z Challenge.  If you’re just joining me, I’ve been highlighting some of my favorite YA/MG characters this month, and today I bring you…

Will Stanton from The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

This book is another long-time favorite of mine.  I first read it in fifth grade, and I have reread it countless times since.  I never get tired of the fantasy world Cooper weaves from Arthurian legend and other myths, and Will Stanton is at the heart of the world.

On Stanton’s much anticipated eleventh birthday (which falls on Midwinter), he learns that he is the last of the Old Ones, guardians of the Light, and that he is now responsible for taking up the eternal struggle against the Dark.  His powers are raw, but Will has good teachers (including my favorite incarnation of an ancient figure in all of literature, but I won’t give too much away).  In a series of heightened skirmishes with the Dark, Will learns the extent of his powers and of the struggle he is now vital to.  But can he defend both the Light and his family, or will he learn the hard way that in battle, sacrifices are always made?

Which book from your childhood do you still love?

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