The Neverending Story > Reading for Children and Teenagers

When we quote the book ‘The Neverending Story‘ we can’t help but look back with nostalgia. Specifically to the 1980s, so fashionable lately partly due to the release of television series, films, books and music that seem to try to make us remember this decade. In 1979, Michael Ende published The Neverending Story and , five years later, the novel was adapted into a film. Today, the film, released in 1984 and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, can be considered a cult work of 1980s fantasy cinema.

Even today, reading The Neverending Story or watching its adaptation in the cinema reminds us of those longed-for 80s marked by the Movida, by the triumph of Spanish musical groups such as Mecano, Nacha Pop or Los Secretos, by the 1982 World Cup and Naranjito. It was the decade of Michael Jackson, video games, the first computers and the birth of the Internet. It was also the decade that brought us AIDS and events such as the Chernobyl accident and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The 80s are like Mario Bros, Queen, U2, The Police, The Crystal Ball and the endearing E.T.

Review of the book ‘The Neverending Story’

La historia interminable edición Alfaguara clásicos

Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story is a wonderful book that will delight both children and adults. It is a magical, exciting story, full of giants, monsters and dragons. But it is also a story of friendship, bravery, courage and self-improvement. Moreover, this work is a rejection of the lack of imagination, of that dark “nothingness” that invades adults when they stop dreaming. It is an ode to reading, to imagination and to the richness of the inner world of human beings. The Neverending Story is also a critique of bullying and the apathy we adults acquire as we leave childhood behind.

The novel tells the story of Fantasia, a kingdom that is slowly disappearing, a victim of “nothingness”. Its empress is mortally ill. Her salvation depends on Atreyu, a brave warrior from the tribe of the greenskins, and Bastian, a motherless boy who finds and begins to passionately read a magical book. Together, Atreyu and Bastian will have to undertake a fantastic journey to save the empress, because only a human being can save this enchanted place.

Recommended age for reading the book “The Neverending Story”

It is a novel for children who are already initiated in reading (it is recommended for children over 10 years old). But the youngest children, those who are just starting to read, can, for example, read a little themselves and then we can help them. Reading with them, sharing that little bit of time every night, can become an excellent way of transmitting our love of reading to them. This is perhaps one of the novels that most transmits the magic of reading. The Alfaguara Clásicos edition of La historia interminable divides the text into two colours. Everything related to Bastian’s real world appears in red and everything related to the world of Fantasy appears in blue .

Film adaptation of The Neverending Story

Película la historia interminable

In addition, this story has the added attraction of having a film adaptation that will allow them, once they have finished reading, to compare everything they had imagined with what they see on the screen. It will also allow them to enjoy the marvellous soundtrack that accompanies the film to the rhythm of the well-known Never Ending Story by Limahl. And it will really surprise you, because the film only tells half of the novel. Which, by the way, Michael Ende didn’t like when he saw the film adaptation of his work. No wonder. The novel, as is almost always the case, far surpasses the film. But “that is another story and must be told another time”.

About the author (Michael Ende)

Michael Andreas Helmuth Ende was born in 1929 in the German town of Garmisch-Pantenkirschen, near the Austrian border. He published his first children’s book(Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver) in 1960, at the age of 31, to great acclaim. Other works followed, such as The Neverending Story and Momo. Although he is best known as a writer of novels for young people, he also published books for adults, plays, poetry and essays. On 29 August 1995, at the age of 66, he died in a hospital near Stuttgart.

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