British author Diana Wynne Jones has been writing speculative fiction for children for more than thirty years. A clear influence on more recent writers such as J. K. Rowling, her humorous and exciting stories of wizard's academies, dragons, and griffins - many published for children, but read by all ages - are also complexly structured and thought provoking critiques of the fantasy tradition. This is the first serious study of Jones's work, written by a renowned science fiction critic and historian. In addition to providing an overview of Jones's work, Farah Mendlesohn also examines Jones's important critiques of the fantastic tradition's ideas about childhood and adolescence. This book will be of interest to Jones's many admirers and to those who study fantasy and children's literature.