Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander
This book is recommended for advanced readers in fifth grade and up
In this fourth book of the Chronicles of Prydain, Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, heads off to explore Prydain and discover the truth about his parentage. Secretly, he hopes to discover he has some royal blood, so that he might be more worthy of the Princess Eilonwy. Taran has many different kinds of adventures, and sees many more characters than in any of the previous books in the series. While it is full of adventure, he is focused on discovering who he is and what he can become.
This was my least favorite book in the series when I read it as a student, but it appeals to me more as an adult. I miss some of my favorite characters, like Eilonwy and Gwydion, and other familiar characters who make only brief appearances. As Taran seeks the truth about his parentage, he encounters many people--some evil, some selfish, some hard-working, some generous. Taran has many opportunities to take different kinds of paths to his future, and this book provides an excellent starting point for discussions about choices students can make to open and close doors for themselves.
Writing Activity Idea
Hevydd compares life to a forge, and says that if you can stand strong, you can meet any hammer. Dwyvach compares life to a loom, and says that some threads in life are difficult to untangle and re-work. Write about the profession that best symbolizes the adventure of life. Is it most like cooking? Like construction? Use specific examples to explain ways that life is like your chosen symbolic profession.
Discussion Topics and Themes:
Book Poll: Taran Wanderer
If you like this book, you may also like . . .