When readers open the pages of her The Enchanted Attic series, L.L. Samson hopes they aren’t just getting into her story, but that they are actually opening the door to a wide world of literature.
In the series’ first book, Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame (Zonderkidz), twins Ophelia and Linus find themselves in the middle of an adventure when Quasimodo himself steps out of the pages of a book and into a hidden attic discovered by the siblings. “Classic literature gets such a bad rap,” complains the author, “‘boring,’ ‘long,’ ‘old-fashioned,’ ‘hard to read.’”
Of course, she relates to this reaction, because it’s how she felt in school. Not to mention, “Two of my three children don’t like to read, so I know how hard it is. My hope is to interest the young reader in the character, to emotionally relate with him or her, and take that comfort level into the reading experience later on.”
She chose The Hunchback of Notre Dame for her first book partly because she loved the Disney movie, but the themes of that book also resonated with her. “In our culture, the outward has become more important than ever,” she says, “but Quasimodo’s beauty lay in his hope for people and his willingness to lay down his life for those he loved. Sound familiar?”
She hopes readers will come away feeling kinder toward themselves and accepting of those around them, just the way God made them. She also hopes they will be encouraged to dive into the classic books that inspired her, too. “The entire Enchanted Attic series is a whole lot of fun for all ages,” she says. “It’s like the old song: ‘A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.’ Only in the case the medicine is the sugar!”