The Snow Spider Booktalk
On his ninth birthday, Gwyn found out that he might be a magician, just like his ancestors had been.
On his ninth birthday Gwyn received a strange present from his grandmother. "It is time," she said, "to find out if you are a magician." But a piece of seaweed, a yellow scarf, a tin whistle, a twisted metal brooch, and a small, broken horse seemed like strange tools to use to find out if he was a magician, but he put them away and wondered how to use them. All his grandmother had said was, "Give them to the wind."
Three weeks later, the winter wind arrived, and when Gwyn opened his dresser drawer to study his gifts, a ray of sunlight fell on the brooch, and it began to change. It became a star, then a snowflake, then a creature with glittering eyes, and then went back to its original shape. Someone or something wanted him to use the brooch! He climbed the highest mountain on the farm, took shelter from the wind beside the highest rock, opened the hand that held the brooch, and held it up. Instantly, the wind snatched it away before Gwyn could see where it went. The wind slowly died away, and it began to snow. When the snow too died away, Gwyn started back down the mountain. Nearing the house, he began to dust off his jacket, and felt something icy cold on his shoulder. It was a sparkling snowflake, that slowly changed into a tiny, glowing white spider. Gwyn was sure it had come in place of the brooch, but what did it mean? Had he done it? Was he really a magician? Only one person could tell him. The next day, he went to visit his grandmother, and when he showed her the spider, she confirmed it. He was a magician. He'd called out the names of his ancestors during the snowstorm, and they had sent the spider to him. Her name was Asianwen, which means white silver.
His adventures had begun. But his grandmother warned him, "A magician can have his heart's desire if he truly wishes it, but he will always be alone, for he cannot tell anyone who he is or what he is wishing and working for." Can Asianwen help him find his sister, who'd vanished four years before, heal his family, and make his heart's desire come true?
This booktalk was written by university professor, librarian, and booktalking expert Joni Richards Bodart.