"O'Keefe examines a wide range of children's fantasy books, and draws on her own experiences as a sympathetic reader as well as on the views of psychologists and social theorists. Readers in Wonderland ranges from William Steig's small picture books to J. R. R. Tolkien's epic series; from utopias like L. Frank Baum's Oz to dystopias like Virginia Hamilton's Dustland; from less-known works like Patricia Wrightson's to the phenomenon that is J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter; from time travel to parallel worlds; and from magical transformations and wishes that come true to lonely journeys and huge battles of good against evil."--BOOK JACKET. "In this book, Deborah O'Keefe discusses the work of more than eighty writers, most from the past half-century, and shows why their tales have proved to be so compelling, particularly in recent years. Fantasy reading does not merely provide escape from troubles and aid in developing the self, it also helps one respond to all that is outside the private self. It shows how to make sense of a confusing world by offering coherence and possibility.".