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Serendipity Market Paperback – March 1, 2011

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Serendipity Market + The Beautiful Stories of Life: Six Greeks Myths, Retold + When You Reach Me (Yearling Newbery)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061468770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061468773
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,212,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Stories make the world go around in Blubaugh’s debut novel. Sometimes, when the world tilts off its axis, only the magical power of story can put things back to right. That’s where Mama Inez steps in. Using her gift of entering people’s lives in subtle yet mysterious ways, she gathers an eclectic group together for a night of storytelling. Each invited guest provides a talisman and a story, and together they set the world back to its rightful state. Weaving together unique variants of traditional tales, such as The Princess and the Pea, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, and Cinderella, this beautiful novel will be a delight to those who enjoy spin-offs of fairy tales and folktales. Readers will find themselves flipping back and forth to figure out how all the different stories hidden in the fold come together to form the greater whole of this charming book. Grades 6-10. --Melanie Koss --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“A debut storytelling tour de force.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“This beautiful novel will be a delight to those who enjoy spin-offs of fairy tales and folktales.” (ALA Booklist)

“Entertaning, freshly told, and ripe for readalouds.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“SERENDIPITY MARKET reveals itself to be what we all strive to do: universal tale spinning, gorgeous writing.” (—Chris Lynch, author of the National Book Award finalist Inexcusable)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tvandbookaddict on April 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A woman, Mama Inez sets out to invite eleven people to tell their stories in order to set the world in balance. The power of their storytelling will surely set things right. Each story is told in the POV of each of the tellers. The tales are those readers will recognize such as Cinderella but told with a twist. :)
Now, Penny Blubaugh..that girl can write!
Meet the tellers:
A Lizard turned into a man by a fairy godmother in order to take a girl to a ball. The Lizard's story just broke my heart, poor guy. :(
Clarisse and Renata, two sisters who find a dying mer man.
John who buys magic beans from a guy named Jack.
Earl and Naddie, twin brother and sister elves, who at the age of 15 help a shoe maker out.
Maisie who at the age of 18 has to save a special someone from the clutches of an evil Elf Queen. :)
B.J, Wink and Nodia, this trio races on a flying boat.
Zola, a prince who's parents only want him to find his princess so they can get an heir, but Zola is not looking for a princess, he's looking for a prince.
Sue who only wants to ride a the horse of a mysterious stranger who rode the firework.
Rosie, who wearing her bright read scarf travels through the woods in order to get to her grandmother, Mama Inez's house but the journey gets dangerous.

At first I just wasn't sure what to make of this book just by having read the back cover. I mean, I was not expecting anything like this. The book completely blew me away! I loved it! Each story was told in such an incredible way and I just couldn't help but be awed by it all. The way Blubaugh describes things is amazing. :D
My favorite story is the Lizard's. It just broke my heart. Poor guy, I still can't get over that, it was just sooo sad!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is essentially a collection of short fairy tale retellings brought together by the framework of a series of invitations sent out by Mama Inez to bring together a diverse group to tell their stories and bring the world back into balance. The stories include a version of Cinderella from the point of view of the lizard footman, a gender and species inverted version of the Little Mermaid, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod told as a boat race, a more adult version of Little Red Riding Hood, and another gender changed version of the Princess and the Pea. In each story we see the influence of Mama Inez or one of her assistants and each teller gets support from the other travelers as they receive their talismans for a story well told. This was a clever way to make a framework for a short story collection based on fairy tales.
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By Khy on July 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a hard book to review, as it is not a "traditional" book. It's mostly made up of individual stories, but it's not an anthology. There is one plot line that brings all the storytellers together in the first place, but that plot line cannot stand on its own; it needs the stories. There are characters in each individual story, and in the bigger plot that encompasses the stories. Because of that, I really cannot review this book by talking about the character development or the plot.

The main story- the one that brings all the others together- is one that is interesting and deep. Mama Inez brings all the tellers together in order to show how powerful the magic of storytelling is, and how it can affect the world. Although the book could have gone deeper, Serendipity Market definitely achieved showing how powerful stories are- each tale has a bit of magic in it, and it's easy to see how each story has effected its teller.

The individual stories are mostly retellings, and each puts a unique twist on familiar and unfamiliar tales. Even familiar characters- Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk , for example, are given more life through the various stories. Despite the very little show time each character in the story is given, their personalities shine through and make them believable.

The constant shift from the first frame of the book to the second made the book a little...awkward, but that's easily overlooked because of how entertaining everything is.

Serendipity Market is a wonderfully written, unique book that I definitely recommend.
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