I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this remarkable novel until now. It’s absolutely brilliant. Along with Breadcrumbs and A Monster Calls, it was one of my favorite books of 2011—and now one of my favorite books of all time! Everyone else here at HFB seems to agree, because it made our Newbery shortlist in January.
Here’s a big statement: everyone should read this book. Everyone. Even adults. Especially adults.
When a young, plucky girl named September is spirited away from her home in Omaha by the jovial Green Wind, she’s in for the adventure of a lifetime. Drawn into Fairyland, September is confronted with an epic quest: to unseat the cruel Marquess, the childlike tyrant who holds Fairyland in her tight grasp. Joined by A-Through-L, a library-oriented dragon, and Saturday, a quiet, loyal Marid child, September attempts to right the wrongs done in the kingdom.
Catherynne M. Valente’s imagination is magnificent, and her storytelling is breathtaking. September’s tale is given such incredible depth that it belongs in the hands of readers of all ages. This is a tale about growing up, becoming brave, and embracing the truth, even if it’s dangerous. This is a tale about friendship, creativity, and sacrifice. Anyone who has loved the rich, dark, classic works by greats like C.S. Lewis, J.M. Barrie, or Lewis Carroll will be utterly entranced by The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland.
I obviously can’t recommend this book enough! Read it immediately. (Pretty please with a cherry on top.)
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, illus. by Ana Juan; Square Fish (Macmillan); 6.99; Ages 10-adult