I think Fuse #8 Productions is one of the best children’s lit blogs around. Her predictions for Caldecott and Newbery Winners is usually dead on and I use her list to buy Christmas and birthday books for my kids because the timing of the actual awards comes in early January which is not perfect timing for the holiday season gift buying. Last year based on her list, I bought my oldest a stack from her list.
I’d describe The Dark is Rising series as a mix of Tolkein (Lord of the Rings series) and Lloyd Alexander (The Black Caldron series) with difficulty level between the two series. Also, I’d describe it as mix of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, again with difficulty level between the two series. It’s an epic series pitting good versus evil and light against dark with the epicenter around an 11-year-old boy named Will Stanton who is the last of the six “The Old Ones” who are time-travelers and protectors of the world. The time traveling aspect is great because it introduces English history amidst a backdrop Celtic lore.