Irreverent Adventure

"The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making" by Catherynne Valente is "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" for tweens, but is also recommended for adventurous adults who like British wit.

September is the spunky heroine with a penchant for the color orange. Life in Omaha bores her. Being a booklover, she longs for some swashbuckling of her own. The Green Wind is obliging and before September gives a second thought to Nebraska, she's on a quest for a witch's spoon and something hidden in the Worsted Wood. The characters include a Wyverary (a cross between a wyvern and a library) and an empathetic smoking jacket. Valente's settings are as colorful as her characters. The capital's buildings and streets are made of cloth and one beach is covered in fairy gold instead of sand.

Lots of word play and a fast paced plot make this a page turner. Some of September's adversaries are scary, so this wouldn't be a bedtime story for the younger set, but makes for an adventure full of the unexpected for the rest of us.
 
--Cindy F., Headquarters
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