Happy (late) 90th, Ellen Kindt McKenzie! (Fantasy writer, "Taash and the Jesters," 1968)
(too old to reply)
2018-06-25 23:40:37 UTC
(I'm taking a risk.) Her birthday was yesterday.

Born in Wisconsin, she now lives in Chico, in Northern California.


Last third:

"...Ms. McKenzie had a long friendship with fellow children's writer Lloyd Alexander (40+ books), known for his books of Prydain, including the Black Cauldren, which later became an animated movie. He wrote similarly to Ms. McKenzie books regarding the fantastic adventures of young people. Their correspondence was mostly by mail.

"In December of 2011, Ms. McKenzie moved out of her long time home and came to Chico to live near James and his family. She lives in an independent living facility where she still plays piano and writes verses, but no longer writes novels.

"Ellen Kindt McKenzie currently lives in Chico California, but she used to live in the San Francisco Bay Area in Los Altos Hills and had a farm house in Eagle River, Wisconsin.

"The manuscripts of many of her unpublished books have been removed from storage to be fixed up and shared with the world."

(book covers)

(Kirkus reviews)

(reader reviews, with photo)


Taash and the Jesters - 1968
"An orphan boy who lives with a witch becomes involved in a dangerous
adventure, from which he eventually emerges as the brother of a

Drujienna's Harp - 1971
"A translucent sky, a stifling-hot night, a murky blue bottle in a curio shop--and with nothing more to warn her than a strange uneasiness, Tha was suddenly transported to the land of T'Pahl. She found herself an unwilling part of the destiny of the land, a destiny that had to be forestalled if she were ever to return to her own land. She gradually learned the forbidden lore of T'Pahl: its Histories spoke of an ancient curse; its Prophecies, of bloodshed and doom. And under the sway of a fiercely tyrannical ruler, in ignorance both real and pretended, the people of T'Pahl awaited the playing of Drujienna's harp."

Kashka - 1987
Preschool (?) book - "The son of a royal musician tries to prevent
Lady Ysene and her brother from using their evil powers to gain
control of the kingdom of Darai."

Stargone John - 1990
"John is a child who sees and hears and smells and feels things most
people don't. He and his invisible friend, the Meesong, travel to
places most can't imagine. John attends a rural, one-room school under
the tutelage of Miss Vordig, a tartar of a teacher who out of cruelty
or ignorance punishes him for his apparent lack of interest. He sits,
submits--but doesn't learn. Luckily his sister, who narrates, takes
him to visit a former teacher who is blind with cataracts and
supposedly a little peculiar. She becomes the shining jewel in John's
life; soon he is learning--in his own way."

The King, the Princess, and the Tinker - 1992
"For years, nobody has been allowed to look at King John, not even his
children; only sensible Rosilla has secretly disobeyed. Then as King
John is taking one of his rare forays to view his kingdom, his crown
falls off when his coach hits a bump; the tinker picks it up, thinking
it must be an odd sort of pot, and is soon mistaken for the king--
everyone has forgotten what he looks like. Though both tell the truth,
no one knows what to believe; the eldest prince receives the crown,
leaving former King John to enjoy getting acquainted with Rosilla, who
knows perfectly well who he is."

A Bowl of Mischief - 1992
"An abandoned child in the desert is found and taught by a holy man
whose teachings he mischievously resists, only to regret it years
later when he needs that wisdom as he finds himself in a battle of
wits with a fearsome villain."

Under the Bridge - (non-fantasy) 1994
"When Ritchie’s mother becomes ill and must live in a hospital, he is
left alone to put his life back together.It seems an impossible task
until he begins to receive mysterious letters from the 'troll' under
the bridge. . . . "

The Perfectly Orderly House - 1994
"A fastidious pack-rat all her life, an Old Woman decides she must
organize all her possessions-and what better way than alphabetically?
Her brother offers to help, and soon has built her a 'perfectly
orderly house' that sprawls into a monstrosity of rooms, each one
designated by a different letter. The plan seems a great success-until
the Old Woman has a party and the preparation and celebration
demonstrate the difficulties of the new household arrangement."

The Golden Band of Eddris - 1998
"As Anna dispatches son Keld and daughter Elylden off to the village
of Adnor, she gives each of them gifts they will need when they
confront the witch Eddris."

2018-06-26 01:02:11 UTC
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Drujienna's Harp - 1971
Does that include the secret recipe for T'Pringles? :)

Kevin R
Robert Carnegie
2018-06-26 23:07:01 UTC
Post by Kevrob
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Drujienna's Harp - 1971
Does that include the secret recipe for T'Pringles? :)
Kevin R
I infer that on two occasions the editor got fed up with
the silly names and said "Make it John or I quit."
After which come Ritchie, Anna, Keld, Elylden, and
Eddris of Adnor.

There's a witch. Maybe the tricky names are protective.
Hilaire Belloc's verse on the Gnu comes to mind.
So does the tongue twister episode in _Rebecca's World_.
So does a BBC spoof radio series in which microphone
time was fought for by the crew of the Starship Enterprise
after an incident that disrupted every word containing
the letter K; thus, STAR TERK II principally featured
Captain Krik and his loyal friend Mister Pocks.
But after about five minutes each week the show went
off to do something else.

There was a red-shirt whose name before the incident
had been Kersnick.

I like this sort of thing too much, methinks.