What I’m Reading Now

What I’m reading now are several books all at once, that you will love. The problem is, not all of these books are located in the Teen section here at Shorewood Library, so you might not find them if I don’t tell you about them. So I will!

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (Children’s fiction) and the sequel which just came out, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

This is Valente’s first book for children and it shows because this book is most definitely suitable for a much wider audience than just the under-12 set. The Girl series (as I will call it because those are some long titles), follows September, a wild-haired girl from middle-of-nowhere Nebraska whose dad is off fighting in what I think is supposed to be World War II, and whose mom works at an airplane-building factory. September is consequently often alone and often wishes she could be whisked off to Fairyland. And one day, she is. What she finds there, though, is a Fairyland where no one is allowed to fly or drink cocoa or do anything silly or fun or fairy-like. September makes a few friends and uses her marvelous courage to release Fairyland from its all-powerful Marquess and restore it to its former glory. She thinks. In the sequel, September returns to Fairyland and all is not quite as she thought it might be. Her own shadow is now perpetrating awful acts of magic-stealing in Fairyland-Below and September must once again right the wrongs. Valente’s writing is completely magical and every character is one you wish you had known sooner and hope to know for the rest of your life.

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente (Adult fiction)

Being inspired by Valente’s Fairyland tales, I decided to check out her most recent offering for adults. This is another one, though, that teens should flock to. It’s a weird re-imagining of a character from Russian folklore, Koschei the Deathless, who comes out of myth and messes things up in modern-day Russia. It’s a magical take on actual history, which certainly makes the history of Russia – as exciting as it has been in real life, with those Czars and revolutions and spies and such – really thrilling to read about. In this book, Valente uses largely the same writing style and language as in the Girl series, but the subject matter makes it more appropriate for teens and adults.

If you’re looking for some really great fiction and you’re a fan of magic and fantasy, books like Alice in Wonderland, Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom series, and re-imagined fairy tales, these books are for you!

 

 

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