Title: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Genre/themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Magic, Fairies
Source: My own bookshelf
Series?: Yes #1 in the Fairyland Series
You can add this book to Goodreads by clicking the cover.
Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.
This was a re-read for me. I read this for the first time last year and I was very charmed with the book. I took me a very long time to buy books 2 and 3 so I decided to re-read this one to get more into the story.
This story starts with September, a little girl from Omaha. She rides on the back of the Green Wind to Fairyland where she meets the evil Marquess, and finds out that Fairyland needs saving. Is September up for the job? This story is wonderful! The cover is gorgeous, the characters are magical and the adventure is just all over the place, in a good way ;)!
Let me start with September. September is such a sweet girl. She has a good heart (well, at least she grows a good one) and she is desperate for an adventure. She gets this in the form of a quest. September meets really awesome beings on this quest. She becomes friends with a Marid, named Saturday and a Wyvern, named A-through-L. There is really not much I can tell you about all the other creatures she meets because there are just so many! Catherynne Valente did such a fantastic job coming up with the magical world of Fairyland. She really has great imagination!
I first thought that this book was Middle Grade but I really think that this book is a little too difficult to classify it as that. The language is not geared toward Middle Graders as it quite complex and also there is some plus 14 content, as some scenes are painted quite vivid. I think this is a pity because this would be such a wonderful book to read out loud. Don’t know if there are any fourteen year old’s out there that want to be read to, haha.
It is just really difficult to explain why this is such a fun and good book. It has really pretty chapter headers, with wonderful illustrations. September is a really likeable character and I would want to go on an adventure with her! It was not all rainbows and sunshine however, because there was certainly some evil going on. There is not a lot of depth in the characters but I think that would only muddle up the magical qualities of this story. This re-read was somewhat less enjoyable than the first time I read it, just because of the flatness of the characters, but still well worth a read. There is really not a lot more I can tell you other than: read it!