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THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING by Catherynne M. Valente Kirkus Star

THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING

By Catherynne M. Valente (Author) , Ana Juan (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: May 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-64961-6
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

In this modern fairytale, an insouciant, “somewhat heartless” 12-year-old girl from Omaha visits Fairyland and accepts a quest to rescue its inhabitants from the rule-mad Marquess. September’s father’s in the army, and her mother works a factory shift. When the Green Wind arrives at her kitchen window and invites her to Fairyland, the “ill-tempered and irascible” September eagerly accepts. Soon she’s flying on the back of the Leopard of Little Breezes, while Green Wind warns her she may be “ticketed or executed, depending on the mood of the Marquess,” if she tramples on any rules. Also, she must be prepared to make sacrifices and she must never tell her true name. After solving a puzzle, September passes into Fairyland, encounters myriad fantastical creatures and meets her soon-to-be helpers, a red dragonlike Wyvern and a blue jinnlike Marid. When the Marquess co-opts her to retrieve a magical sword from the deadly Worsted Wood and holds the Wyvern and Marid hostage, September sacrifices everything to save her friends. Told by an omniscient narrator who directly engages readers, the densely textured text deftly mixes and matches familiar fairytale elements, creating a world as bizarre and enchanting as any Wonderland or Oz and a heroine as curious, resourceful and brave as any Alice or Dorothy. Complex, rich and memorable. (Fantasy. 10-14)