Book review: The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, by Catherynne M. Valente, illustrated by Ana Juan

Valente, Catherynne M. The Boy Who Lost Fairyland. Il. by Ana Juan. (Fairyland series, #4) Feiwel and Friends, 2015. $16.99. 235p. 978-1-250-02349-0. Ages 10-14. P7Q10

Valente Boy Who Lost FairylandNew characters cross back and forth between reality and Fairyland in the fourth book of the series, titles of the first three beginning with The Girl Who. As Hawthorne, a troll, is whisked out of Fairyland by the Golden Wind to become a changeling for a human baby in Chicago, Valente puts off the resolution for 14-year-old September’s life in Fairyland. Instead, the plot follows Hawthorne’s escape back to Fairyland, at the age of 12, and joins a band of other changelings, one of them even a girl made from wood. Their goal is to save the place from the Endless Summer and the powerful Fairies who want to take over the world. The magic of the book includes even Chicago which seems like an exotic place. The writing, as glorious as the complex plot and the bizarre characterizations, is a richness of language providing wisdom and whimsy, and the coal pencil drawings are an extension of Alice in Wonderland. The author plans one book to finish the series—perfect for read-alouds.

September 2015 review by Nel Ward.

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