Today's Read: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Vaente
Imagine you were a lonely farm girl with a vivid imagination who wished for the types of adventures you find in story books. What would happen if your wishes came true? September is about to find out.
Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her parents' house, where she washed the same pink-and-yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small and amiable dog. Because she had been born in May, and because she had a mole on her left cheek, and because her feet were very large and ungainly, the Green Wind took pity on her and flew to her window one evening just after her twelfth birthday. He was dressed in a green smoking jacket, and a green carriage-driver's cloak, and green jodhpurs, and green snowshoes. It is very cold above the clouds in the shantytowns where the Six Winds live.—The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (Macmilian Childrens / Feiwel & Friends, 2011, p. 1)
- Setting: Nebraska and Fairyland
- Circumstances: September is given a chance to visit Fairyland, where she meets strange, yet friendly, creatures; makes friends; solves puzzles; learns the rules, and goes on quests
- Characters: September, 12 years old from Nebraska; the Green Wind, who rides a flying leopard; Ell a Wyverary (a kind of dragon); Saturday, a Marid boy; plus witches and weres, a marquess, a key, and more
- Genre & audience: fairy story, magic, adventure, fantasy; middle grade and up
- What I loved; September is realistic, brave, and kind; the references to other fantasies and fairy tales; the terrific world building; the humor; the sheer fun of this novel
- Miscellaneous: first in a series (yay!); won the Andre Norton Award; was a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Fiction title for 2011; has awesome illustrations by Ana Juan
- Audiobook thoughts: the unabridged audiobook (Brilliance Audio; 7 hr, 17 min) was read by the author. Although Valente didn't have the polish of a professional, her performance was well done and reflected her obvious love of and familiarity with her characters and world
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