I first read this book something like 35 years ago, give or take, probably in 5th grade. I reasonably certain it had to have been before spring break of my 6th grade year, because that was the year of the tornado. After we rebuilt the house, I got to have a room of my own. This is relevant because I envisioned the room I shared with my brother as Will’s room as I read the book. (Assuming my memory isn’t playing tricks on me.)
There’s a risk when you return to a beloved novel from your youth. Will it live up to the memory? Often it doesn’t.
The advantage here is that after so many years, I didn’t remember more than a few scenes from the book, primarily the Dust Witch coming after the boys in the balloon in the middle of the night. Other than a few general things, I didn’t recall much.
I’m pleased to say that the novel held up quite well. It was better than I remembered. Continue reading