Title: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Author: Catherynne M Valente
First Published: Feb 2012 (hardback) / Oct 2012 (paperback)
No .of pages: 336
Synopsis (from Amazon):
September is a twelve-year-old girl, Somewhat Grown and Somewhat Heartless, and she longs for adventure. So when a Green Wind and a Leopard of Little Breezes invite her to Fairyland – well, of course, she accepts (mightn’t you?). When she gets there, she finds a land crushed by the iron rule of a villainous Marquess – she soon discovers that she alone holds the key to restoring order. As September forges her way through Fairyland, with a book-loving dragon and a boy named Saturday by her side, she makes many friends and mistakes. But while she loses her shadow, her shoe and her way, she finds adventure, courage, a rather special Spoon, and a lot more besides . . .
I can’t rate this book highly enough. It is so lovely and fantastical and magical that my inner child just ate it up. I’m still a little conflicted about the target audience as, for all intents and purposes, it’s a children’s story, but then nestled in amongst the almost lyrical story are words like vichyssoise and talk of diplomatic immunity. My overall thought is that it is a children’s book, but it’s intended to be read out loud by a nominated adult, who, whilst telling this wonderful tale, will get just as much from it as the utterly engrossed listener.
September is one lucky girl. You know that moment, where your imagination runs away with you, and you are taken to a far off world where everything is colourful and magical and nothing like every day, boring life?? Well, September gets to live that!
One day, she is going about her usual tasks and then from nowhere appears the Green Wind riding on a leopard. Without even a backwards glance, September climbs through the window and embarks on a journey to Fairyland and finds herself having in the craziest adventure. Along the way we meet some loveable (and some not so loveable) characters, my favourite being Ell the “Wyvery” (the offspring of a Wyvern and a Library – it all makes sense when you read it!)
The story is engrossing and hurtles along at a very fast pace throughout, although sometimes, I just couldn’t turn the pages quick enough! September’s journey through Fairyland is not all fun and games though, and she has some serious decision making to do on her way, along with a battle or two for survival.
The book leaves the story open enough for September to continue her adventures in Fairyland and I am so pleased to know that there is at least one more adventure for her to have, although I’m definitely hoping for many more.