This book gets the highest grade possible because it was awesome. You should read it. The end… Almost. I can not leave it quite like that, can I? The Girl in question is September and she is somewhat Heartless (as are all children, according to the narrator). September gets whisked away to Fairyland where she befriends a dragon(descended from a library!) who she calls Ell and they set of an adventure to save Fairyland from the oppressive rule of the Marquess. She meets a host of characters you might expect in a place like Fairyland, and of course, makes a ship.
I can’t tell you everything I loved about this book. Suffice to say, the story contains the tried a true fantasy elements that purists would love, as well as some notable twists and turns, little things that I didn’t see coming. It does fit the cliche ‘couldn’t put it down’ because I couldn’t. The world building was wonderful, I enjoyed Valente’s fairyland very much. The narrator’s voice was charming. But what I enjoyed most was how this book made me feel. I was smiling, laughing, I even shed a few tears. It is true. And when it was finished, I went to my unpacked boxes stowed in my guestroom and fished out my young adult fantasy novel begun years ago as part of a creative writing class assignment and continued work.
Good Literature (capital L literature) should inspire. It should make a person want to create. That is what Valente’s first installment in this series did for me, and what all good books should do. They should make you remember why you read and what you love, and leave you wanting a little bit, or a whole lot more. I look forward to the reading the next book in the series.