Books by Lyn Gardner

Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"For fans of the previous book, it's a lot more of the same. For newbies, consider walking the plank instead. (Adventure. 9-11)"
The baddies are back, and they're ready to do anything to locate their beloved treasure, even if it means having to fake acting school experience. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2015

"Flashes of wit notwithstanding, the gross is shoveled in with such vigor that even readers who revel in such stuff may weary. (Adventure. 9-11)"
An intrepid lad and his smart-girl best friend repel a pair of particularly putrid pirates in this unbridled farce. Read full book review >
OUT OF THE WOODS by Lyn Gardner
Released: April 13, 2010

Bursting with literary references, this single-plot sequel incorporates familiar tales galore. Romantic Aurora, feisty/grumpy Storm and preternaturally verbal toddler Anything are enjoying domestic peace when wicked witch Belladonna hunts them down to eat Aurora's heart and steal Storm's magical pipe (a corrupting, all-powerful object constantly seeking its true owner, à la the One Ring). Archetypes weave through the plot (Snow White, Orpheus and Eurydice, Pandora's Box, the Frog Prince, Red Riding Hood), while classic motifs pop up everywhere (wicked stepmother, magical talisman, three sisters). Allusions so subtle they might be nonexistent twinkle a playful presence (does that tavern invoke The Muppet Movie?). This has a looser weave than Into the Woods (2007), with its metaphysical rules inorganic and rushed. The sisters are frustratingly naïve, instantly believing news from unreliable sources that a loved one is dead, over and over again. However, the ending's particularly nice, neither happily-ever-after nor not so, and the overall double-meta is delicious, with characters from the Grimms' tales (and the Grimms themselves) and Greek myths both part of the sisters' cultural landscape and elements in the story itself. Grey's illustrations not seen. (Fantasy. 8-11)Read full book review >
INTO THE WOODS by Lyn Gardner
Released: June 12, 2007

Bursting with flavor and good humor, this single long, lovely fairy tale bows to an abundance of classic tales while keeping everything fresh. Storm, champion maker of fireworks, and older sister Aurora, housekeeper extraordinaire and baker of madeleines, watch their useless parents disappear quickly (natch). Mother dies giving birth to verbally precocious baby Anything, and father wanders away in grief. The three sisters are a sweet household until lupine Dr. DeWilde comes seeking the small magical pipe that mother bequeathed to Storm. Frantically escaping, the sisters scramble through woods, enchanted towns, a candy-house orphanage, cottages, castles, ice fields and a mountain of slavery. Grey's black-and-white drawings perfectly complement Gardner's playful textual winks—both honor a cornucopia of archetypal tales, blatantly and subtly. The sisters' story is a fairy tale itself, yet Rapunzel, Hansel & Gretel and The Pied Piper are also old books that characters read. It works because Gardner anchors everything warmly in Storm, who's wonderfully genuine and full of resourcefulness. Delightful. (Fantasy. 8-11)Read full book review >