Over Sea, under Stone (The Dark Is Rising Sequence Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is even more than that -- the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil known as the Dark. And in searching for it themselves, the Drews put their very lives in peril.
This is the first volume of Susan Cooper's brilliant and absorbing fantasy ...
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Over Sea, under Stone (The Dark Is Rising Sequence Series #1)

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Overview

On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is even more than that -- the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil known as the Dark. And in searching for it themselves, the Drews put their very lives in peril.
This is the first volume of Susan Cooper's brilliant and absorbing fantasy sequence known as The Dark Is Rising.

TThree children on vacation in Cornwall find an ancient manuscript which sends them on a dangerous quest that entraps them in the eternal battle between the forces of the Light and the Dark.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-The charming beginning to Susan Cooper's series of five books, which comprise The Dark Is Rising, belie a series of sinister adventures. The Drew children Simon, Jane, and Barney find an old map in a hidden room while summering at the Grey House in Cornwall. Along with their Great-Uncle Merry, they become embroiled in a web of intrigue that surrounds an Arthurian legend. True to the original story (Harcourt, 1965), this audio version adds a dynamic vocal element from narrator, Alex Jennings. In the beginning the story seems a bit slow and tedious as the plot and setting are given their due, and the voices may be difficult to distinguish. After the first side of tape 1, they become more well defined. Jennings gives each child a distinct voice, yet keeps each connected to one another. Barney has the youthful vulnerability of the youngest sibling, Jane, the sensible and soft-spoken middle child, and Simon speaks with the assurance and bravado of the "older" brother. The rising tension created between the fight of good and evil gives strength and vitality to each character's voice. Listeners understand Mr. Hasting's loathing and fear of Great-Uncle Merry when hearing the deep tone and resonance of every utterance. Jennings' ability is outstanding as he slips in and out of the numerous voices with the rapid dialogue as it approaches the climax. His training and experience as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre give this story a vitality. This is an outstanding reading of a classic tale that all young listeners and adults will thoroughly enjoy.-Tina Hudak, St. Bernard's School, Riverdale, MD Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Beautifully told...superbly written." — New York Times on The Dark Is Rising Sequence
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442458956
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 3/6/2012
  • Series: Dark Is Rising Sequence
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 35,647
  • Age range: 8 - 14 Years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Susan Cooper is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her classic five-book fantasy sequence The Dark Is Rising won the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor and has sold millions of copies worldwide. She is also the author of Victory, a Booklist Top Ten Historical Fiction for Youth book and a Washington Post Top Ten for Children novel; King of Shadows, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor book; The Boggart; Seaward; Ghost Hawk; and many other acclaimed novels for young readers and listeners. She lives in Massachusetts, and you can visit her online at TheLostLand.com.
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Read an Excerpt

The dry grass was like polished wood under Simon's feet, giving no grip as he slipped and slithered

down the hillside; now on his feet, now flat on his back and elbows, holding one arm up always to keep the manuscript from damage. Behind him he heard the noise of the boy from the village slipping and stumbling more heavily, his breath rasping in his throat, and an occasional gasping curse as he lost his footing and fell.

Facing outwards across the harbour as he ran down, Simon felt that he could almost jump straight out

into the sea. The slope seemed much steeper than when they had climbed up by the path, dropping below

him in an endless green curve. His heart was thumping wildly, and he was too intent on getting away to imagine what might happen if the boy caught up with him. But gradually, minute by minute, the panic at the pit of his stomach was disappearing.

Everything depended on him now -- to keep the manuscript safe, and get away. He was almost enjoying

himself. This was something that he could understand; it was like a race or a fight at school, himself against the boy Bill. And he wanted to win. Panting, he glanced over his shoulder. The boy seemed to be gaining on him a little. Simon flung himself down the rest of the slope, sliding and bumping on his back, alarmingly fast, now and again coming to his feet for a couple of staggering steps.

And then suddenly he was at the bottom of the slope stumbling and gulping for breath. With a grief

glance up at the pursuing Bill, who yelled and glared at him as he saw him looking round, Simon was off and away over the field, running like a hare and feeling confidence surge stronger as he ran. But he could not lose the boybehind him. Stronger, bigger and longer-legged, the village boy pounded after him with grim determination, striding more heavily but never losing ground.

Simon made for a stile in the hedge at the far side of the field and leapt over, gripping the shaky wooden bar at its top with one hand. He came out at the other side into a quiet lane, pitted with deep dry ruts hard as rock, lined with trees, arching overhead in a thick-leaved roof. With the sunlight quite gone now, it was half dark under the branches, and both ends of the lane vanished within a few yards into impenetrable shadow.

Simon looked wildly up and down, clutching the manuscript and feeling the sweat damp in the palms of his hands. Which way would lead him to the Grey House? He could no longer hear the sea.

Making a blind choice, he turned right and ran up the lane. Behind him he heard the clatter of the boy's boots climbing over the stile. The lane seemed never-ending as he ran, dodging light-footed from side to side to avoid the ruts. Round every bend there stretched another, curving on in a gloomy tunnel of branches and banks, with no break anywhere into a gateway or another field.

He could hear the beat of the boy's feet behind him on the hard dry mud of the lane.

The boy shouted nothing now, but pounded along in grim silence. Simon felt a thread of panic creep back into his mind, and he ran more wildly, longing to get out of the cavernous lane and into the open air.

Then facing him round the next bend he saw the sky, bright after the gloom, and within moments he was out again, running on a paved road past quiet walls and trees. Again he turned automatically without time to think where he was going, and the rubber soles of his sneakers pattered softly along the

deserted road.

The long high grey wall along one side, and the hedge of a field on the other, gave no sign to tell him where he was running -- more slowly now, he knew, for try as he might he was beginning to tire. He began to long for someone, anyone, to appear walking along the road.

The boy's footsteps rang more loudly behind him now, over the quiet evening twitter of birds hidden in the trees. The sound of the feet so much noisier than his own gave Simon the beginnings of an idea, and when at last the road branched off he put on a desperate burst of speed and ran down the side turning.

The wall ended at two battered gate-posts through which he glimpsed an overgrown drive. Further down the road he caught sight of the rising tower of Trewissick church, and his heart sank as he realised how far he was from home.

The boy Bill had not fumed the corner yet; Simon could hear his steps gradually growing louder from the main road. Quickly he slipped inside the deserted gateway of the long drive and wriggled into the bushes which grew in an unruly tangle beside the gate-post. He jumped with pain as thorns and sharp twigs stuck into him from all sides. But he crouched quite still behind the leaves, trying to quieten his gasping breaths, certain that the pounding of his heart must be audible all up and down the road.

The idea worked. He saw Bill, dishevelled and scarlet, pause at the end of the road, peering up and down. He looked puzzled and angry, listening with his head cocked for the sound of feet. Then he turned and walked slowly towards Simon's hiding-place down the side road, glancing back uncertainly over his shoulder.

Simon held his breath, and crouched further back into the bushes.

Unexpectedly he heard a noise from behind him. Turning his head sharply, wincing as a fat purple fuchsia blossom bobbed into his eye, he listened. In a moment he recognised the sound of feet crunching on gravel, coming towards the road down the drive. The gaps of light through the branches darkened for an instant as the figure of a man passed very close to him, walking down the drive and out through the gateway. Simon saw that he was very tall, and had dark hair, but he could not see his face.

The figure wandered idly out into the road. Simon saw now that he was dressed all in black; long thin black legs like a heron, and a black silk jacket with the light glinting silvery over the shoulders. The boy Bill's sullen face brightened as he caught sight of the man, and he ran forward to meet him in the middle of the road. They stood talking, but out of earshot, so that Simon could hear their voices only as an indistinct low blur. Bill was waving his hands and pointing back behind him to the road and then down the drive. Simon saw the tall dark man shake his head, but still he could not see his face.

Then they both turned back towards the drive and began to walk in his direction, Bill still talking eagerly. Simon shrank nervously back into his hiding-place, feeling suddenly more frightened than he had been since the chase began. This was no stranger to Bill. The boy was smiling. This man was someone he had recognised with relief. Someone else on the enemy side....

He could see nothing now but the leaves before his face, and did not dare move forward to peer through a gap. But the footsteps ringing on the metalled road outside did not change to the crunch of gravel; they went past, outside the wall, and on up the road. Simon heard the murmur of voices, but could distinguish nothing except one phrase when the village boy raised his voice. "...got to get 'n, she said, 'tis surely the right one, and now I've lost..."

Lost me, thought Simon with a grin. His terror faded as their footsteps died away, and he began to feel triumphant at having outwitted the bigger boy. He glanced down at the manuscript in his hand and gave it a conspiratorial squeeze. There was silence again now, and he could hear nothing but the song of the birds in the approaching dusk. He wondered how late it was. The chase seemed to have lasted for a week. The muscles of his legs began to nag protestingly at their long cramped stillness. But still he waited, straining his ears for any sound showing that the man and the boy were still near.

At last he decided that they must have gone out of sight down the road. Clutching the manuscript firmly, he parted the bushes before his face with one hand and stepped out into the drive. No one was there. Nothing moved.

Simon tiptoed gingerly across the gravel and peered up and down round the gate-post. He could see no one, and with growing cheerfulness he crossed from the gateway to make his way back to the road from which he had come.

It was not until he was several paces out in the open that he saw the boy Bill and the dark man standing together beside the wall fifty yards away, in clear view.

Simon gasped, and felt his stomach twist with panic. For a moment he stood there, uncertain whether to bolt back to the shelter of the drive before they could see him. But as he hesitated, mesmerized, Bill turned his head, shouted and began to run, and the man with him, realising, turned to follow. Simon swung round and dashed for the main road. The silence all round seemed suddenly as menacing as the leaf-roofed lane had been; he ached for the safety of crowds, people and cars, so that at least he would lose the awful sensation of being alone, with feet pounding after him in implacable pursuit.

Down the side road, round the corner and along the wall of the churchyard, faster, faster; Simon's heart sank as he ran. His legs were stiff after the cramped pause in the bushes, and his whole body was very tired. He knew that he would not be able to last very much longer.

A car passed him, travelling fast in the opposite direction. Wild thoughts flickered through Simon's mind, as he felt the road beating hard through his thin rubber soles: he could shout and wave at a car, perhaps, or run for refuge into one of the little houses that were fringing the road as he neared the village. But the boy Bill had a man with him now, and the man could tell some story to any stranger Simon approached, and the stranger would probably believe that instead....

"Stop!" a deep voice called behind him. Desperately Simon tried to fling himself forward faster. Everything would be over if they caught him. They would have the manuscript, they would have the whole secret. There would be nothing left to do. He would have broken the trust, he would have let Gumerry down....

His breath began to come in great painful gasps, and he staggered as he ran. There was a cross roads ahead. The fast decisive footsteps behind him sounded louder and louder; almost he heard his pursuers breathing in his ears. He heard the boy call, on a note of triumph: "Quick...now..." The voice was farther away than the footsteps. It must be the man who was behind him, almost at his heels, his feet thudding nearer, nearer....

Simon's ears were singing with the fight for breath. The cross roads loomed ahead, but he could hardly see them. He heard half consciously the noisy roar of a car's engine, very near, but it barely registered in his weary brain. There was a rattle and a squeal of brakes, and half-way across the cross roads he almost collided with the rusting hood of a big car.

Simon slithered to a halt and made to dodge round it, aware only of the danger at his heels. And then, as if the darkening twilit sky were once more suddenly flooded with sunlight, he realized Great-Uncle Merry was leaning from the window of the car.

The car's engine revved up again with a thunderous roar. "The other side! Get in!" Great-Uncle Merry yelled at Simon through the window.

Sobbing with relief, Simon stumbled round the back of the big estate car and wrenched at the handle of the door on the other side. He collapsed into the creaking seat and pulled the door shut as Great-Uncle Merry let in the clutch and slammed his foot down on the accelerator. The car leapt forward, jerking round the corner, and then they were down the road and away.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

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(22)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2002

    Once I opened it, magic began !

    Once I opened this book, magic began! OVER SEA, UNDER STONE is simply marvelous! Simon, Jane and Barney are so well devoleped that they seem real. I cannot wait to read the other books in THE DARK IS RISING SEQUENCE. Bravo to Susan Cooper for a job well done! This book is pure magic.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Alex Blau

    It is an exiting read, except for the first 240 pages! The words used by some people oj the book sound older than the hatfield mccoy fued!
    PLEASE READ THIS COMMENT ALL THE OTHER COMMENTS PERSUADED ME TO READ IT, and it was summer reading but, TAKE MY WORD!
    Alexander Blau

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2003

    Best Book Ever!!!!!

    Old England, mystery, King Arther! What more could the perfect book have? I LOVE Susan Cooper's books. I am a huge fan of hers:-)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2000

    My Favorite

    Susan Cooper's Over Sea, Under Stone is a really exciting book. I never wanted to put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2000

    Awesome book!

    This book is extremely cool. Once you pick in up it is nearly impossible to put it back down again until the ending- I finished it in one day. I would definantly recommend it to anyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 1999

    The greatest adventure story ever!

    Over Sea, Under Stone is a great book if you like adventure and tense type books. I thought it was well written and thought of. It is best for children in grades 4-7.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2014

    Cool

    I couldn't stop reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Between YA and children

    Notes on
    Under Sea and Stone by Susan Cooper, 1965

    This book is in the boundary between children’s books and young-adult books. Its characters are poorly drawn and the diction and the style are more suitable for children’s books, but its plot is more extended and there is more fore-shadowing.
    In general, the book would be a good choice for ten-year-olds, despite the more complex plot. It’s action and development would not appeal to young adults. Also, its characters are simply not endearing and the evil is not well characterized.
    I cannot imagine why the thing is still in print

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    Enjoyable

    Or would be, if every 5 minutes I wasn't saying, "what stupid children these are!" Jeeze.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    The greatest book eva

    This was an awesome book! I love how she added detail in the story! I suggest that you read this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    Great!

    The entire series is awesome. Don't let the movie turn you away.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    Ober sea under stone

    BORING BORING BORING i only read it for a book report and it was sooooo boring

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    I havnt even read this book yet, but i like to review things! Yay

    Cookie monster. Thats all i have to say. COOKIE MONSTER.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    From a 10 year old

    My dad reccomended this book to me. I began to read it. I couldn't put it down. So i got a book with the whole entire series. I have been carrying i lt around so now my back hurts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Finally!

    This is the first book in "The Dark is Rising Sequence", but it is also good as a stand alone. Much better than movie, this actually gives me chills when I read it (I'm in my 60s). Excellent prose - Ms. Cooper can create atmospher and eerie occurences. For the longest time, v2-5 were available as ebooks, but not this. I got on pub website several months ago and suggested that this needed to be available also. They listened. So in March I will have them all.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Spectacular!

    The story involves three main characters by the names of Jane, Simon and Barney Drew. They find this ancient text that tells them about a legendary grail that was lost centuries ago. Now they're on a quest to find the grail, trying to put the clues together before the other side does. Because if the other side does than it's all over.

    First time I opened this book I had mixed emotions about it but in the end I was excited with the outcome and couldn't wait to read the other four books. Details are amazing and it never feels out of place or chopped up. Basically realistic as not only the characters try to find where the grail is but also you, yourself. Susan Cooper is a fantastic writer who should be praised more than she already is. Buy this book and you will not be dissapointed at all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2005

    Over Sea, Under Stone is a book for you!

    If you like books packed with adventure, you got a book to read! Over Sea, Under Stone is a book about 3 kids who find a manuscript and try to figure out what it means while facing many dangers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2004

    Don't miss out on this series!

    This, the first book in the Dark is Rising Sequence, is not really as good as the others, but still well worth reading. When I read this, I wasn't really ecstatic about it, but I was interested enough to get the next one in the series, and that was where it really took off.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2003

    BETTER THAN HARRY POTTER!

    Okay I am a huge fan of Harry Potter but over sea under stone was unbeatable. I listened to the book on tape because I don't have verry much time to read. My friend has all the books in the series on hold at the library and really wants to listen to them. I LOVED it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2002

    Over Sea, Under Stone

    This was the first time I have ever read one of Susan Coopers' books. I read Over Sea,Under Stone and it wasn't one of my favorites, I would recommend this book to someone that likes to read about treasure hunts. This was an o.k. book, but that was just for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews

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