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THE OUTLANDISH ADVENTURES OF LIBERTY AIMES  by Kelly Easton

THE OUTLANDISH ADVENTURES OF LIBERTY AIMES

By Kelly Easton (Author) , Greg Swearingen (Illustrator)

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: June 9th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-83771-5
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Her name is Liberty, but she’s never been allowed to leave the house in her ten years of life, not even for school. Her inventor-father, Mal (French for “evil”), has imprisoned her and her obese mother so he (a “friggin’ genius”) can keep his magic concoctions safe from discovery. Libby dreams of escaping, and finally does when she drinks Mal’s precious lifting soda and flies up and away. Liberty is a decent, brave and hopeful girl, providing a welcome counterbalance to the disturbing tale of her cruel childhood and to the “outlandish adventures” (involving talking animals, kidnappers and lion tamers) that sometimes feel too wacky. A philosophical, Snicketian narrator expounds on topics from chaos theory to bad apples, as readers are warned to beware society’s abundant scoundrels. Liberty gets much of her frame of reference from books, so stories from “Hansel and Gretel” to The Little Prince help her navigate her wondrous foray into the outside world. Dashes of kindness and dollops of wordplay sweeten the oft-bitter pot, as do Swearingen’s expressive, comical pencil illustrations. (Fantasy. 9-12)