on November 7, 2009
There are very few books that will stay with you over the years. As you get older, you will remember having read a certain book, the gist of the book's plot, maybe the characters' names, but that's it. This is not one of those occasions.
Fifteen years or so ago I was in 8th grade. I had to read this book because it was one of the nominees for a Newbery Medal. We were told we had to read at least two nominees before voting for our favorite. From the first page to the last I was entranced by this book. I liked how Lindbergh had written other literary characters such as Alice, the Mad Hatter, Jody [...], among others, to interact with supposedly "real" people. It was in many ways reminiscent of The Neverending Story movies.
Like someone else had said, this book was jumping-off point to reading other books for me, primarily [...]. Thanks to this book, I now have yet another book I enjoy reading.
While I had forgotten a lot of the finer points of the book over the years, such as the characters' names and what all they said or did, I remembered a majority of the book's plot, and some scenes. I remembered that when Owen and his mother arrived at his uncle's house, they came across cages of cats on the front porch, which sent Owen's mother into a sneezing frenzy, being that she was allergic to cats. I remembered the cats all had names from well-known literary cats, like Puss in Boots, Garfield (I remembered the argument he and his mother had that the Garfield books weren't really books, just comic strip collections), the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, among others, and they all bore a striking resemblance to their fictional namesakes. I also remembered that Owen had a vast collection of National Geographic magazines, and they had used the bookmark to enter into an article of the magazine about a volcano erupting somewhere in South America, and rescuing a horse. I also still remember them taking the horse into [...], and negotiating with the Baxters to trade the horse for Flag, the fawn. They agreed, and Flag was brought back into the real world, and released into the forest that surrounded the uncle's house. I also remembered Parsley warning Owen not to go and continue reading after where they left off, for he would cry. Not taking her serious, he does, and he does. I also remembered that Parsley had told Owen that while the book will read the same way each time you read it, when you enter into the book's world, the characters will be very different.
That last paragraph should be enough evidence as to why this was a great book. Even though it had been over 15 years since I last read it, I still remembered those parts. This would be a great incentive to get children to read today if it could happen. In a way, it can. Books can transport you to several places, without charging you exorbitant fees. The best part of reading a book that can take you away to far-off places? No security lines. You don't have to take off your shoes or wait two hours to get through security. No passport or tickets are needed, except a library card, or an account at Amazon. I think the bookmark said it all:
Pay No Fare.
Let A Book
Take You There.
This novel is fun even for reluctant readers/listeners. It's the compelling story of a city kid, 7th-grader Owen, and the traumatic move he makes when his mother decides they're moving to the Vermont countryside where she will marry her sister's widowed husband. Owen is upset about many things, of course, not the least of which is his younger cousin Parsley, who will soon be his sister. She is an odd kid, and very annoying (I didn't like this girl at all!), but she does have a plan to split up the two adults, so she and Owen join forces. Little does he know that Parsley has some magic up her sleeve -- specifically, a magic bookmark that takes the reader into the story.
This is an enchanting premise, and author Lindbergh takes good advantage of it, as the children visit Alice's Wonderland, The Yearling, even a nonfiction book about volcanoes! In the end the kids learn to get along and decide that they really want to become a family and there is a generally happy ending.
The book is not without flaws -- several, in fact. I can think of many other books it would have been a delight to visit, so I think there were too few. Also, Parsley could have been a lit less obnoxious, Parsley's dad did a lot of things that were petty and mean, and Owen's mother was annoyingly flighty and self-centered. Owen was the only sympathetic, likeable character in my opinion, but I still give the book highest rating because it was fun, imaginative and magical -- and the kids I read it with loved it!
on October 10, 1997
Anne Lindbergh is my favorite author, and this is my favorite of her books. Travelling into books is one of my dreams, and Anne Lindbergh was a genious to realize the possibilities it held. Books that children are often forced to read come alive in Lindbergh's outstanding modern-day presentation of classics. Owen and Parsley, the main characters, are hysterically constructed
though not quite believable, and the dynamics
between them are perfect. When I read that this
book was out of print I was outr
on December 14, 2004
The book I read was Travel Far Pay no Fare. The book was about this boy named Owen and his mother was Nan-Ellen Noonan. They live in Boston. But then Nan-Ellen got married to her brother in law and they had to move to Vermont to live with his soon to be step-father Jack and his soon to be step-cousin Parsley. Parsley liked to read a lot. Nan-Ellen thought she was adorable. The worst part was that Parsley had a lot of cats; And Nan-Ellen was allergic to them. One day Parsley told Owen that she had a bookmark that let her go inside books, and of coarse Owen doesn't believe her. Then one day he gets sucked into the book. Now he believes her. Once again something is wrong through Parsley's eyes and she wants to take things into her own hands. Things don't work out so she blames herself, so she said she was going to trap herself in a book. She didn't have the bookmark anymore though Owen did and you have to have it to get into and out of the books, and it also expires September the 1. So Owen has to go inside the book and try to save her.
The main character in this book is Owen. Owen is in fifth grade and he has his whole life planned for him until his Uncle Jack comes along. He is a great kid and he loves to play outside and he loves to watch TV.
The problem in this story was that Parsley traps herself into a book. Owen goes into save her because he realizes that he loves her and his Uncle Jack.
Because he realizes this, he knows that he has to go in the book and save her. In the end he does save her and they can't use the bookmark because it's already September 1So everything is back to normal and the way they should be.
This book was a great book and I would defiantly recommend this book to someone else because at the same time you feel like you are jumping into the book when you are reading it.