Rated Reads

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

by Catherynne M. Valente

Rated: None

This is a delightful book! It manages to combine the best of Alice in Wonderland with the sly and humorous asides of Terry Pratchett and remain innocent at the same time. It is completely appropriate for children and completely entertaining for adults.

September is a young girl whose father is away at war and whose mother is away at work. One day, while she’s at the kitchen sink, the Green Wind comes to take her away to Fairyland on the back of a leopard. She agrees immediately and sets off on a great adventure, but she soon finds out that her guide (the Green Wind) does not have the proper papers to enter Fairyland. September must go alone. She has a great many adventures, in which she meets a Wyverary (a cross between a wyvern and a library), has her courage washed, loses her shadow, meets the terrible Marquess, rescues a boy, travels by wild bicycle, finds her mother’s sword, turns into a tree, and sets off to save her friends. September finds throughout her journey that nothing is what it seems and that she was not chosen to save Fairyland, but she must find the determination to do it nonetheless.

With an ending that will surprise even the most avid fantasy readers, this book is a great read from beginning to end.

From immigration to endless graduate school to cultured wairwolves (yes, I spelled that correctly), this book is chock-full of whimsical and entertaining quirks and observations. Be careful, or, like September, you just might lose your heart in this book.

Rated: None.

— Reviewed by Niki Bissell

Niki is an Ohio mom raising four children. Though her first love is fantasy, she also reads biographies, YA fiction, science fiction, LOTS of children’s lit, and whatever her book club buddies have chosen to read this month.

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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
  • by Catherynne M. Valente
  • Rated: None
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: