There are a couple of seminal books from my childhood that made a big impact on me. They inspired me, kept me a bit of a dreamer, and got me interested in not only becoming a lifelong reader, but a lover of good drama, fantasy, and especially science fiction. The list of books would have to include the Narnia series, The Hobbit, The Tripods trilogy, and The Dark is Rising series to name just a few.
The last of those is finally going to be adapted to the silver screen and I am very excited. Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising sequence, as its called, follows a group of kids, particularly a young man named Will Stanton as they battle the ancient and mysterious forces of evil. It's a somewhat basic good versus evil story with some of the Arthurian legends rolled into it, but the execution is fantastic. There's an almost Da Vinci Code style mystery and the kids must unravel it before the forces of evil break into our world. I remember the books, it's a series of 5 total, as being simply mesmerizing. I'm very excited to see how the adaptation goes. After the mixed bag we got in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe's adaptation, I'm cautiously optomistic that this will turn into a great fantasy / mystery film series that can succeed where some of the other recent "family fantasies" have failed.
Check out the books, and other reviews of them, on Amazon. I would highly reccomend them as I know it would really make a great gift for most readers out there; even yourself. :)
The film version of the books is slated, for now at least, to be released late this fall at the end of November, but I wouldn't be surprised if it gets pushed back a bit, as filming is only slated to start next week. That said, I could see the studio wanting to rush through things for the Xmas season. And seeing as there is Henson company involvement here, they might not have too many visual effects to work through in post, assuming they are using more mechanical FX than optical. Either way, I'm hoping for the best. We'll have to keep our eyes on this one.