Title: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland #1)
Author: Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illustrator)
Narrator: Catherynne M. Valente
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Acquired Via: Personal Collection
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 author Catherynne M. Valente 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've been meaning to read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making for years, but I've kept putting it off. I have owned copies on and off over the years. I truly believe the time was right when I finally did read it because The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland was exactly what I needed. I am in no way exaggerating when I tell you that when it comes to adventures in a magical land, it's right up there with The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland.
September was a great character because the odds were stacked against her in the novel from the time she left her house with the Green Wind, yet she always did the right thing, even though she knew that it wouldn't be easy. She left behind a Nebraska with her mother working all the time and her father away at war. When she found herself in Fairyland, it was certainly not kind to her. Excepting, of course, some of the friends that she made there.
My favorites, as were September's, were A-Through-L "Ell" and Saturday. Ell was a Wyverary, which is half wyvern and half library. Saturday is a Marid. (Those are ocean-dwelling creatures who have a very interesting story that I would love to see more of in this series, and I have a feeling I will.) The Marquess was just as fascinating, though deliciously evil.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is just as I remember fairy stories to be when I was little - they had teeth. There are times that September is in very real danger, and it gets a bit dark at certain points. Does that mean I think only older children should read it? Absolutely not. The world is a dangerous place, and this is a perfect way to expose them to that idea safely.
As you can probably tell, I loved The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, and I will be reading the rest of the series as I need it. I don't want to rush through them because it's nice to know that the next time I'm having a reading slump or a bad week, I have Valente's Fairyland series to look forward to.
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Since I enjoyed The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making so very much, I'm going to offer up a copy of it to one lucky winner. You can choose physical or ebook, and if you already own or have read the first book, you can choose any book in Valente's Fairyland series if you win.
Ends at 12:01am CST on September 30th
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