From School Library Journal
Grade 4–7—This well-known British illustrator's first novel is a charming twist on fairy tales. The Trueheart clan lives near the Land of Stories, once upon a time, long ago. Tom is the youngest of seven boys, and his brothers (all named Jack) have carried on the family tradition of being adventurers-that is, stepping into a story and carrying out the dashing exploits that eventually become legend. On Tom's 12th birthday, he discovers that his brothers are missing, feared to have been captured by a sinister individual who wants to put an end to Stories forever, and it is up to the young lad to discover their fates and prevent the demise of the Land. Readers meet many familiar characters, as the brothers' interrupted adventures involve Snow White, Cinderella, and Rapunzel, to name a few. The two-dimensionality of most of the characters complements the fairy-tale feel, and silhouette drawings interspersed throughout add a wonderfully nostalgic touch. Readers will relate to Tom as he overcomes fears that he will not live up to his brothers' reputations for bravery. The story gets off to a slow start, and the length may deter some children, but those who stick with it will be rewarded with a refreshing and humorous take on traditional fairy tales. Beck's ending suggests that a sequel is forthcoming.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
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`a delightful book, and one with a wide potential audience . . . a story with a timeless quality and great charm for bedtime reading upwards.' Marcus Sedgwick, the Literary Review
`This handsome little book with striking silhouette illustrations, contains a wonderful story.' Julia Eccleshare, lovereadingforkids.com
`Tom's quest to discover his own story and his courage, unrolls through an elegantly described magical landscape, in this skilful, highly inventive story about the way stories work.' Booktrust
`looks likely to become one of the hits of 2006' Amanda Craig, The Times
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.