In a light comic romp with a fantasy theme, 12-year-old Jenny, reluctant adventurer, decides to live a normal life, if she can.
Jenny has spent the last three years traveling to magical lands, vanquishing foes by dispensing “cheesy” wisdom. She’s in high demand as an adventurer. However, she yearns for a normal life, with friends and school. When she meets an enemy, the terrible clown monster Klarr, that appears too powerful for her skills, she quits. Her normal life, however, doesn’t fulfill her hopes, as she just doesn’t seem to fit in with ordinary kids her age. Jenny finds she can’t get away from her magical adventures in any case. She goes back with her gnome sidekick Anthony to rescue her new friend Prince Lamb from Klarr’s grasp. Staniszewski pitches her writing to a middle-school audience in her debut, emphasizing comedy along with non-threatening suspense, and keeps the tone chatty and frothy. She throws in some sweet animal characters along with the less interesting humans, although Jenny’s Aunt Evie, always surrounded by animals, and her kindly magical protector, Dr. Bradley, stand out. An eye for imaginative detail mixes with these likable characters and a theme of empathy for others to keep the story appropriate to a younger audience, who easily will identify with Jenny.
Charming. (Fantasy adventure. 9-14)