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Non-Fiction. Fiction. Young Adult Author. Myth. Children’s Author. Adult Author. Susan Cooper. Screen Play Writer. Poet. Adventure. 2012 Margaret A. Edwards Award Recipient . Biographer. News Writer. Legend. About Susan. Born on May 23, 1935 in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, England

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susan cooper



Young Adult Author


Children’s Author

Adult Author

Susan Cooper

Screen Play Writer



2012 Margaret A. Edwards Award Recipient


News Writer


about susan
About Susan
  • Born on May 23, 1935 in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, England
  • Attended Slough High School, before attending Oxford University where she was the first female editor of the University Newspaper, and graduated with an MA in English
  • Her first writing job came at London’s The Sunday Times where she was a feature writer under Ian Fleming
  • During this job, she wrote her first fantasy novel, Mandrake, followed by Over Sea, Under Stone
  • In 1963 she emigrated to America, to marry her first husband, and wrote two adult books: A Study of America, Behind the Golden Curtain as well as a biography of J.B. Priestly
  • In the 1970’s she began writing the follow up’s to her hit, Over Sea, Under Stone, completing the Dark is Rising Sequence

Susan also worked in theatre, writing scripts and several short plays.

Her poem The Shortest Day is still performed throughout the US

Her Major Play Foxfire, was written in collaboration with her second husband Hume Cronym, and tell the story of life for an Appalachian family. The play went on with win a Tony Award and was adapted for TV

A second screenplay was written for Jane Fonda called The Dollmaker, which also won an Emmy

She also wrote an adaptation for Terry Kat’s To Dance with the White Dog, which also won an Emmy.

During the 1980’s and 1990’s Susan wrote a number of children’s picture books, some of which explored traditional folk-tales and legends.

She returned to YA literature with The Boggart, and the follow-up The Boggart and the Monster

q a with susan
Q&A With Susan
  • How long does it take to write a book?
  • They seem to take a year on average; I write very slowly on a good day I write about 1,000 words.
  • Did you ever want to be anything other than a writer?
  • Yes I wanted to be a concert pianist, but realized I wasn’t good enough. If I came back as someone else I’d like to be a singer. Being a writer is a lonely job, you’re stuck in a room for such a long time, so sometimes I’d like to be a performer instead.
  • What books did you read when you were younger?
  • E. Nesbit’s- The Railway Children, Kipling, Pooh books, A.A. Milne, Arthur Ransome, Malcolm Saville’s adventure stories and Pamela Brown’s theatre books.
  • Do you consider yourself a ‘children’s author’?
  • Not really, I’m an author who writes, my books just happen to be published for children or YA’s, when I’m writing I’m not thinking about children at all.
the dark is rising sequence
The Dark is Rising Sequence
  • The Sequence which she is best known for begins with Over Sea, Under Stone
  • The Dark is Rising
  • Greenwitch
  • The Grey King
  • Silver on the Tree
book talk 1 under sea over stone
Book Talk #1: Under Sea Over Stone

Beginning of a classic

Introduced us to Simon, Jane, and Barnabus Drew, each with distinct personalities

Speaks of Authurian, Celtic and Norse Mythology

Quest to find the grail of good

Legendary Adventure of Good vs. Evil

other ya and children s books
Other YA and Children’s Books


  • Mandrake (1964)
  • Dawn of Fear (1970)
  • Seaward (1983)
  • The Boggart (1993)
  • The Boggart and the Monster (1997)
  • Victory (2006)
  • Ghost Hawk

Picture Books:

  • Jethro and Jumbie (1979)
  • The Silver Cow (1983)
  • The Selkie Girl (1986)
  • Matthew’s Dragon (1991)
  • Tam Lin (1991)
  • Danny and the Kings (1993)

All of her books are Published by: Margaret K. Mc Elderry Books

book talk 2 the king of shadows

Boston Globe-Horn book Honor Book

Nat Fields – actor chosen to play Puck, in Shakespeare's A Mid Summer Night’s Dream

Historical Time Travel, Adventure and Fantasy

Why I choose this book?

Why is this book relevant?

Book Talk #2: The King of Shadows

awards uniqueness
Awards/ Uniqueness
  • The Dark is Rising – 1974 Newberry Honor Winner
  • The Grey King – 1976 Newberry Award Winner
  • Tirnan-Og Award
  • Silver on the Tree – 1978
  • Tirnan-Og Award
  • Seaward -1989
  • JanuszKorczak Literary Prize

Susan has the uncanny ability to write for all ages, and has done so for 40 years.

Spreading into every genre, Susan has dappled in journalism, fiction, non-fiction, biographies, picture books, plays, adapted screenplays and poetry

She is most known for her fantasy ability, writing books with both male and female protagonists

Captures the emotion and feelings of tension, adventure, myth, legend, hope, fear and transforms them into short, easy to read novels

role of fantasy susan cooper role of fantasy in children s lives november 15 2007
Role of FantasySusan Cooper: Role of Fantasy in Children's LivesNovember 15, 2007

any questions
Any Questions?