Happy Birthday The Neverending Story!

So who else was surprised to see the Google Doodle celebrating the birthday for The Neverending Story by Michael Ende?

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Let me start by saying, I adore The Neverending Story. A few years ago, I had to read this book for a Children’s Literature course. Obviously I’d heard of The Neverending Story, the movie was a staple for many 80’s and 90’s kids like myself, but I never saw it (Falkor seriously freaked me out as a kid). So I was excited to get to read the book to understand what the hype over the movie was.

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The Neverending Story is simply magical and incredibly relatable to many readers who use reading as an escape. The story is told in a story in a story format, young Bastian finds and begins reading the book The Neverending Story which follows the young Atreyu, and the reader reads what Bastian reads of the story. Every so often, Bastian’s perspective comes back to tell what is happening in his life at the moment, and his thoughts and feelings in the story. Eventually though, Bastian’s world and the world of The Neverending Story merge together into one story and as Bastian enters the world of Fantastica, so do we.

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I wrote a review for The Neverending Story a few years back when I first read it, and am really disappointed in it. For one thing, I don’t understand how I could be confused with the change in perspective and worlds in the story, but maybe that’s just because I’ve read more books that switch perspectives and settings now and understand it better. The other thing is I don’t go into enough detail about how much I love this book, and I still don’t. Because sometimes when I read a book that stays with me, a book I adore so much, I have trouble finding the words to explain it.

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Maybe I enjoy The Neverending Story so much because I’ve used literature to escape like Bastian, and more than once I’ve wanted to go directly into a story and stay their to escape the stress of what was going on in my life. Maybe it’s because The Neverending Story is a book about books, a book about the love of books and reading and imagination. The love of exploring new worlds, new characters, and learning more yourself in the process.

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So Happy Birthday The Neverending Story. You became a book that will stay with me for a very long time, and I hope you go on affecting and changing others lives like you did mine.

Google Doodle art by Sophie Diao.

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