It’s a plot that might sound familiar: On his 11th birthday, a boy learns about his supernatural abilities and the existence of magic right under our human noses, and then has to search for a series of powerful objects in order to save the world. No, it’s not Harry Potter—it’s Will Stanton, who discovers that he is an Old One, an immortal being with a special role in the timeless struggle between Light and Dark. Cooper was at Oxford when both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien taught there, and her work has been described as a bridge between their era and the young-adult fantasy epics of more recent decades. Blending Arthurian legend and time-travel trippiness, this 1973 classic for middle-grade readers stands out for an eldritch tone that matches its stormy winter setting. The novel, a Newbery Honor Book, is the second installment of a five-book sequence. —Lily Rothman

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