From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Valente returns listeners to Fairyland in this sequel (2012) to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (2011, both Feiwel and Friends). An awkward and lonely girl, September consoles herself with the delicious secret that she has been to Fairyland and saved it from an evil queen. On an ordinary day, after a long, impatient wait, September trips over a wall and falls into Fairyland where she discovers that things are not as she left them. The shadows of the inhabitants are being sucked into Fairyland-Below. September begins a quest, along with her dear companions A Through L, a Wyvern (a sweet, loyal, and dragonish beast), and Saturday, a Marid (a bluish boy). Divinely verbose, Valente's brilliantly crafted words evoke exquisitely lush and detailed images in the listener's imagination. She seamlessly and brilliantly blends elements of fantasy, mythology, and historical fiction to create a magical world so cunningly described that it's utterly believable. Startling truths reminiscent of J. M. Barrie, L. Frank Baum, and others ground the story and give it depth. Singer/songwriter S.J. Tucker's satiny voice blankets and captivates listeners. She is a storyteller in the classic sense, and voices lively, distinct characters, some with hints of exotic accents. It is not imperative that listeners are familiar with the first book, but it will lend clarity to some details of the story.-Lisa Hubler, Charles F Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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*Starred Review* In this stellar sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (2011), September is 13 years old and in possession of a teenage heart that is “raw and new, fast and fierce.” It is this heart that guides her sophomore trip to Fairyland. When she literally stumbles into the magical realm, September finds that the inhabitants of Fairyland Above have been losing their shadows—sucked Below by the Alleyman, a floating red-feathered hat—and, along with them, their magic. As Fairyland Above becomes depleted, the underworld becomes a stronger, darker, increasingly renegade place under the rule of Halloween, September’s shadow. Can September return the shadows and reset the equilibrium in Fairyland? On her quest, she’s reunited with friends Saturday and Wyverary—well, their shadows at least—but mostly meets exciting new characters, from Belinda Cabbage, mad scientist, to a soft-spoken Physickist dodo bird named Aubergine. As with the previous title, Valente’s inviting, lush, and densely detailed world is evocative of well-traveled lands, such as Neverland and Oz, but, at the same time, is uniquely its own. This is sure to draw new fans, but those familiar with the first book will find the reading a richer experience. Juan’s shaded chapter-opening art puts bizarrely wonderful faces to names and sets just the right tone. Let’s just hope the Green (or Silver) Wind calls us back to Fairyland soon. Grades 5-8. --Ann Kelley
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