Release Date: May 10, 2011
Age Group: Middle Grade
Received From: Publisher
Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday. With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.
I think we have all heard at least one person raving about The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. It’s blurbed by Neil Gaiman for crying out loud! So of course I had high expectations and I was not disappointed at all. You are dropped right into the story with this book. There is no beating around the bush or long world building explanations. You get to discover all the mesmerizing and enchanting magic right alongside September.
The story and the world in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is, for lack of a better word, magical. I was amazed at the imagination and creativity with every new page. September’s big adventure kept me fully immersed in the story and I might have forgotten to do the laundry at some point…
September herself is a fantastic character. At first I wasn’t 100% sure I would like her, but that fear turned out to be unwarranted. Plus, she meets all these fascinating and charming characters along the way. That makes the story even more fun.
Overall, this was just a delightful book. Catherynne M. Valente’s writing is extraordinary and beautiful. I definitely recommend this one.