Common Sense Media says

Classic fantasy is a bit slow, but enthralling.

Users say

(out of 25 reviews)
age 11+
Review this title!
Teen, 14 years old Written byihatereading101 April 9, 2008


um...this book was was really confusing though. i only read it cus i had to for school and i would have never picked it up otherwise. the chapters are really long and i always had a straying mind when reading this book. if you like fantasy, this is and okay book, but if you dont DO NOT READ THIS BOOOK UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!!...unless you have to for school!!! hehe
Adult Written byuwuwu April 9, 2008

this is a horrible book

This book had way too much violence, commercialism, and bevoiarl issues. I would not reccomend this book to any child under 13.
Teen, 15 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

I hated it

I found this book just so bad the only reason i read it was because I read it for school.
Parent of a 3, 5, and 8 year old Written bydraemel November 26, 2012

I love this book!

I read this series as a 5th grader at age 10, and the books were some of my all-time favorites. Such an exciting, interesting story, and wonderfully written. I couldn't put these books down until I read the whole series. I think the series is very empowering to kids, and I also love the mythology / history in the books (King Arthur, the dark ages, etc.) I recently came across the series again as an adult and decided to reread it. I am now reading it with my 9-year-old, who thinks it's great. If you're a fan of Harry Potter, give this one a try.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 9 year old Written byTora Gwen May 11, 2010

Altogether amazing!

My daughter and I love this book! It's a very cool, but a little violent. I love the fantasy and the war between the Dark and the Light is very complex. My favorite Thing of Power is the sword, Eirias, as I think the story behind it is amazing, and Addison loves the Midsummer Tree. It combines fantasy, a bit of reality, complexity and simplicity in one amazing series, and it will forever be one of my favorite books. I don't exactly know how or why, but it's so enchanting! A real pageturner!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models
Adult Written byDDad October 2, 2009
On his eleventh birthday, a young boy discovers that he belongs to an ancient group of powerful beings. He is instructed in magical arts, and gets caught up in the struggle between forces of good and evil. Sound familiar? The pros of this book and series. The Dark is Rising sequence is wonderfully well-written. Some of the younger readers have complained about the story being difficult to understand, but older readers will enjoy the complex and well-planned story. Will is a positive character who loves his family, accepts responsibility, and learns from his mistakes. The cons: the story is infused with British paganism. Though it's interesting to read a fantasy based on the English mytho-historical traditions, the series presents these myths and practices as valid beliefs that just fell out of vogue. Though the series isn't blatantly anti-Christian, occultism is sometimes mentioned positively, and there is a pervasive sense that the ancient beliefs are somehow superior to the Christian faith, and servants of the Dark often hide behind a religious guise.
Teen, 15 years old Written byelenmadil April 9, 2008

Really good book by my favorite author!

I loved it. It has just the right amount of everythin'. Some scary parts, some really funny parts, and some complicated parts. The only problem with it is that you have to read the whole series to understand everything and some people aren't ready to do that much reading.
Parent Written byNEKDad March 5, 2015

Rich food for the imagination

I read this book first when I was 11, and just reread it, considering whether it's a good book for our nine year old. For him, I will wait. For me, I was again delighted by it. The prose is solid, it has weight without being dense. The portrayal of light and dark, good and evil, as bigger than any normal human is a strong brew. It is presented viscerally, and without explicit moralizing. For me, the power of the story arises for the sense of familiarity I have with the commonplace scenes of a British family at Christmas time, and their juxtaposition to the scenes of fantasy and imagination. (If I did not have that sense of affinity with the everyday life of the characters, I doubt I would be as moved by the story.) It is not slick entertainment, it may not appeal to everyone, but it leaves me more attuned and appreciative of the good, true and beautiful in my life, and inspired to be watchful against the encroaching darkness that would distract me or obscure those things. If you like fantasy, and have the imagination to bring story to life in your mind's eye, this book is first rate. If you just want to be entertained, and have an attention span accustom to 21st century pacing, you may find this one does not move fast enough.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written bySarak March 12, 2011

Hope. Light. Honour.

You can make a difference. You can stand up and say ' NO MORE' to those ruining the things we should all treasure. To those that say its not suitable for 9 year olds - it just shows how far standards have shrunk in the ipod iwant era. First of five books - read them all - treasure them all.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Educator Written bysb34chick November 21, 2009

Newbery Honor Award Winner, worthwhile

The main character, a boy who has just turned eleven, is beginning to aquire some magical talents. A great read for readers of the Harry Potter or Eragon fantasy series which was awarded the 1974 Newbery Honor Award, though the story is still contemporary today.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byClarie101 November 1, 2015
It was a okay book but I won't read it.The reason I read the book was because I couldn't find any other book close to my reading level. The chapters are to long
Kid, 10 years old April 24, 2012


i completely disagree with you uwuwu. please tell me where the commercialism and violence is. small amount amount of violence. i could of handled it when i was 6. i only rated 10 and up becausd its a bit hard to understand.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old October 13, 2009
Great book, rubbish movie. This one is the best of the series, a must read for young kids who are fans of fantasy and adventure.
Teen, 13 years old Written byghicken May 12, 2009

confusing and hard to follow

It is a shame that some schools require this book to be read, it is hand down the worst book I've ever read. It is hard to follow confusing and boring, I can't read this book for more than an hour without falling asleep, crying,or sometimes both. Bottom line- Don't read it ever.
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

A MUST READ!!!!!!!!!

this book has an amazing plot and i loved it sooooooo much. it is really a must read!
Kid, 12 years old April 15, 2014
It's very boring. I was forced to read it in class and all my teacher ever did was tell us to read a part at home. She thought it was interesting but really it was just a disappointment. This book might have been interesting to me if I read it when I was 8 and still believed in time travel. Now I'm more into non-fiction books. Overall, it's a boring, non interesting story. I would never recommend it and when I have kids, I will never make them read this garbage. (No offensive Susan Cooper)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bymkalv February 26, 2009

Hard to understand.

I enjoyed this book, but it was at times hard to understand. It had a lot of fantasy, though. I enjoyed the film more.
Teen, 14 years old Written byBryan P March 13, 2017

A good book for reading.

The Dark is Rising was a great book ,but to me, Susan Cooper could explain more things to made the story more easier to understand. The book is about Will, a 11 year boy whose birthday is coming up. He was given a Sign and later told he was part of the Old Ones. He needs to find Signs ,which are magical and one of the ways the Light needs to defeat the Dark. He is needing to finding them fast before the Dark gets to their maximum power and beat the Light. The pros about the book that it provides a lot of suspense. I love the book for this part. It also tells the plot every well. The cons are that it really doesn’t tell you much about background information. It tells information about the Old Ones and how some of the Signs are made and their history.But some thing just don’t get answered Like for example, why does Will need to find the Signs.The signs are hidden by the Old Ones but the Old Ones need Will to find them.Will goes though the book doing what is told to do ,which is not very much. I would rate this book a nice B-. I give this rating because Will doesn’t very much exciting. It is very dull. I still like the suspense and characters though. The suspense is too much a good factor to the book and I must give it that. I honestly thought the book was OK. I don’t think I’ll reread it , but it was a good read in my opinion.
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byMattTheww February 7, 2017

The Dark Is Rising Review.

So this book deserves a 6 out of a 10 the reason why i say this is because it has too much violence.I would not recommend this book for 15 and under.So this book is about a boy named Will Stanton, the youngest of 10 children, will celebrate his 11th birthday on Midwinter's Day. On the day before his birthday, an old man hides and watches him, and a neighbor, Farmer Dawson, warns Will about a man called the Walker and impending danger.
Teen, 13 years old Written bykodywatts123 November 1, 2015

It's an OK book..

The main character, Will, has something like magical powers but he was ill. He has this magical thing where he passes out and forgets something. He got sent to Wales to stay there until he wasn't sick anymore with his cousins, aunties, and uncles. Will and his friend, Bran, wanted to figure out some three verses for the Golden Harp. So he and Bran we looking for Bran's dog because Cafall ,Bran's dog, went with them to go somewhere . Then he was missing when they were looking for Cafall they saw smoke from the mountains. Bran was thinking that his dog was up there so they went up. There was these Grey foxes in the smoke. Then they are starting to find out the three verses, so they wanted to figure it out. It was very interesting. But it was very confusing also. There was some parts where it was describing how the sheep died by the Grey foxes. I would recommend this to 11 year old s and that can comprehand. And some high vocabulary.
What other families should know
Too much violence