N is for Never

N is for Never

It’s day 14 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter N Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

N is for Never.

There’s something about the word never that conjures magical feelings. Maybe it’s growing up devouring the magic of Never Never Land from 19th century writer J.M. Barrie in his memorable work Peter Pan. Other writers no doubt felt the same inspiration and even included the word in their titles. Here are two:

The Neverending Story

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

What I love about this story is that it touches on the pain of bullying. Chased by bullies, the narrator Bastian darts into a dusty bookstore and happens upon a book called The Neverending Story. Soon he finds himself not only immersed in the story but also a part of it. As Bastian encounters the dangers in the magical land of Fantastica, he begins to see his own strength and value–qualities he can take back with him into his reality. The book is fairly long, so if you don’t have time to read it, the movie The Neverending Story is absolutely beautiful and well worth viewing.


Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Never mind that this is not a young adult novel. It is a novel older young adults will enjoy reading. In fact, one of my students listed Neverwhere on his college personal statement as his favorite book, and another student used a quote from Neverwhere in her personal statement. I was so tickled that I had introduced this novel to both of them! Neverwhere would make it onto my own list of ten favorite books. Neverwhere contains magic, humor, pathos, romance, literary allusions. Everything that makes a work of fiction memorable, Neverwhere has.

What memories do you have of stepping into the land of never? What is your favorite magical book?

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N is for Never — 15 Comments

  1. Two books which are both on my list to read.

    I read The Hobbit when I was six and I don’t think it was my first trip to a fantasy land, but it’s probably the one I’ve inhabited the longest. Right now I’m about to tuck into Midnight Over Sanctaphrax and venture over The Edge!

    Cait @ Click’s Clan

    • I read Garden Spells and liked it very much. Have you read Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman? I think you might like that one, too.

  2. I just read my first book by Neil Gaiman, and I loved it. I’m absolutely going to check out both of these books. I’m sure I saw the movie the Neverending Story, but I don’t remember it. Thanks for the recommendations.
    Doree Weller

    • You’re welcome, Doree. I especially hope you like Neverwhere since you are already a Neil Gaiman fan. Would love to hear back from you once you read it.

    • Oh, how sad. I don’t remember that at all. I’m surprised my kids liked the movie so much; they were fanatics about horses.

  3. Ah! These are two of my favourite stories and authors.
    No one can beat Gaiman at a magical story, he has magic in his very words.
    Ende was a wordsmith too, his worlds are so unique. I absolutely loved The Neverending Story as a kid. Been a long time since last I read it. It may be time to revisit it 🙂

    • Yes, I love to roll Neil Gaiman prose around on my tongue. Sigh. One of my students is currently reading Neverending Story, so I will be able to revisit it through him. Looking forward to it!

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