Friday, September 2, 2011

Sharing: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

This post has been months in coming, but I devoured this book in much less time than that; The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is magical.

The book was written by Catherynne Valente  and was released on May 10, 2011. I was sold as soon as I saw Neil Gaiman's endorsement on the front cover. "A glorious balancing act between modernism the Victorian fairy tale, done with heart and wisdom," he says. And he was not wrong.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is most decidedly for fans of fantasy who can lose themselves in the other worlds that lie within the pages of a good book. The book begins with a girl called September who is whisked away from her lonely household and taken on a magical journey to Fairyland. Fairyland is a place rich in sights, smells, sounds and adventure, all of which are described with a deliberate and fantastical detail that lends itself to exploration.The characters are like no others I have ever encountered; for example, one of the story's main protagonists is a Wyverary,  which is a dragon who happens to also be part library. As in, his mother was a Wyvern (a dragon) and his father was a library. Surprises abound in this book, whether it be from the characters' choices, the interesting creatures and people that September encounters, or the rich sensory experience that is found in the deliberate and engaging writing style. This book would be beautiful to hear read aloud.

Who should read it?
I would happily recommend this book to any middle grader who enjoys extremely imaginative fantasy titles.

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