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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making Summary and Reviews

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

by Catherynne M. Valente

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente X
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

BookBrowse Says
"The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making moves at breakneck speed through a landscape heaped with imaginative details that are so random and profuse they make it difficult to develop any attachment to the story. It would take a very patient child to wade through the cluttered sentences and constantly shifting cast of characters. Interesting vignettes flash by, but there is little meat to them, and the plot is a postmodern mash-up hanging by a thread.

Fairyland grew out of a snippet of an imagined 1920's children's book in the author's 2009 fantasy novel for adults, Palimpsest. Valente succeeds in imitating the whimsy of the storybooks of that era but misses their heart." - Jennifer Wilder


Others Say
"Starred Review. This is a kind of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by way of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- it's the sort of book one doesn't want to end. Ages 10-14." - Publisher's Weekly

"Starred Review. 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." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. This book is quite simply a gold mine." - Booklist

"Amusing, wrenching, and thought-provoking." - The Horn Book

"Resonances of Alice and Dorothy and The Phantom Tollbooth, right? If only this book weren’t so exhausting. ... Adjectives and adverbs tumble down the page relentlessly and merrily in a glimmering, glistening cascade of too-muchness. Some people may love it; my people call it ungapatchka." - New York Times, Marjorie Ingall

This information about The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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November Bell

I could eat those words for breakfast!
Valente's skillfully done children's novel is sure to please. The words fill you like chocolate and caramel on a crisp fall evening with the sun slipping over the tips of the trees, fiery red, orange, and gold.

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Author Information

Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente was born in the Pacific Northwest, grew up in California, and now lives in Ohio with her two dogs. Ana Juan is a world-renowned illustrator known in this country for her wonderful covers for the New Yorker magazine, as well as the children's books The Night Eater, and Frida, written by Jonah Winter. She lives in Spain.

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