My 9-year-old and I have found a new series, and we can’t get enough!! One of his requests for Christmas was a long book, as in over 400 pages. Of course, I wanted one he could handle as far as comprehension goes and content being age-appropriate. Santa delivered for us! This book is about 450 pages and written for 8- to 12-year-olds. We had never heard of this series before (it’s actually fairly new). Before my child reads a new book, I like to read it to make sure the content is okay. Because this was brought by Santa, I hadn’t read it before so we decided to read it together. Well, let’s just say that was great in theory. But when I had to attend to other duties, my son continued on. We ended up spending the next couple of days “fighting” over the book because neither one of us could put it down!
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer (I guess he’s an actor on Glee)
Twins Conner and Alex (a boy and a girl) loved hearing stories from their father throughout their lives. But he has recently passed away, and they are missing him and his stories. When their paternal grandmother gives them a much-loved book of their father’s, they are thrilled! Little do they know that the book is a portal into the fairytale world they have heard about their whole lives! They fall into the book one afternoon and meet all these characters they have grown to love, such as Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Goldilocks. They also meet those they don’t love, such as the Big Bad Wolf pack and the Evil Queen from Snow White. The only way home is by finding items to a wishing spell. But someone else is also on the hunt for these items. Will they find the items in time to return home, or will they be forever stuck in a storybook?
The story is based on the old time fairytales (think Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm), which I thought was so great to introduce my son to.
There’s a map of the fairytale world at the beginning. As we read, we would refer to it often.
There is one swear word in it (ugh! this is a children’s book!). And there was one gory part that I remember thinking I wouldn’t read to my 1st grader, but my 3rd grader didn’t even bat an eye at.
Another thing I liked is that Colfer took the liberty of giving a back-story to many of the characters, like why the Evil Queen became evil. He also gives the characters unique personalities, like Red Riding Hood is very self-absorbed and Goldilocks is an outlaw because of her break-in. Hilarious!
We ordered the 2nd one last week, and have been eagerly waiting for it to arrive in the mail. It’s so new it only comes in hardback. (Post-edit: It came today! We can’t wait to get started!!)
The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer
I read somewhere that the 3rd one comes out this fall, and I believe there’s a 4th one in the works, as well!
Oh, and here’s Chris Colfer’s website, if you want more info or to learn more about the books and the characters. (Visit it. Connor and Alex “fall” as you scroll. Fun!)