Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
The Boy Who Lost Fairyland Hardcover – March 3, 2015
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—In this fourth book in the fantastical series, a young troll named Hawthorn is stolen away by the Golden Wind and brought to live in Chicago as a changeling. When he turns 12, he finds a way back to Fairyland, a place now much changed from the magical realm he left. Fans of the series may be initially disappointed to discover that September makes only a brief appearance, but not to worry—Hawthorn's tale is just as compelling and his adventures just as extraordinary. Both the human and magical worlds are brought to vivid life through the young changelings' unique perspective. While readers unfamiliar with the series can certainly jump in with this novel, most will want to start at the beginning. A phenomenal fantasy series worthy of a spot in every library collection.
“Valente's Fairyland is as bizarre and beautiful as ever, with a Wonderland-like un-logic that will keep readers both delighted and slightly off-balance.” ―The Horn Book
“A glorious balancing act between modernism and the Victorian Fairy Tale, done with heart and wisdom.” ―Neil Gaiman, Newbery Award-winning author of The Graveyard Book
“September is a clever, fun, stronghearted addition to the ranks of bold, adventurous girls. Valente's subversive storytelling is sheer magic.” ―Tamora Pierce, author of The Immortals series
“A mad, toothsome romp of a fairy tale--full of oddments, whimsy, and joy.” ―Holly Black, author of the Spiderwick Chronicles
“When I say that this book reminds me simultaneously of E. Nesbit, James Thurber, and the late Eva Ibbotson, I don't mean to take anything awy from its astonishing originality. It's a charmer from the first page, managing the remarkable parlay of being at once ridiculously funny and surprisingly suspenseful. Catherynne Valente is a find, at any age!” ―Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Valente takes a bit of a risk here in book four, shifting focus from her primary protagonist, September and her friends, to a whole new cast of characters. The titular “boy” of the book is Hawthorn, a young troll scooped up by the Red Wind and dropped off in our world as a changeling, where he lives as a “Not Normal” boy for some years before encountering Tam, another changeling. Eventually, the two of them realize their true selves and make their way back to Fairyland, and it is there that their story will intersect with September’s, although not until the very end.
To begin with the positives, Valente’s trademark whimsy and linguistic/creative ingenuity are on their usual full display here, as we are treated to a host of wholly original creations: a Sunday Dinner tree, a walking/talking gramophone, albino moose with barbed tails, “a cutlass named Hush, a ship made of jester’s caps, and … twenty levitating hyenas who couldn’t say the word yes as they’d been cursed by the Khan of Zebras.”
Even better though, then her inventive descriptions of Fairyland is how Valente takes our mundane world and, by showing it through the eyes of the young Hawthorn (now named Tom in his human form), turns it into a fairyland filled with its own fantastical actions and objects, as when he thinks of his mother’s special brand of magic:
She could make music come out of a great brass thing in the parlor that looked like a horn of plenty but wasn’t one. She could make blue fire roar out of the stovetop anytime she pleased. She could make hot milk or cocoa or caramel or porridge appear inside a silver saucepan — he never knew which it would be … [she] would lay her finger alongside her nose, and then tap his, and say: “Magic!” … “ Gwendolyn said it when she produced a new toy that he hadn’t seen her making …when she made all the lights come on at once with one touch of her little finger to the wall or when his wooden train carriages went spinning around their wooden track with no one touching them.
Climbing into the head of this new-to-our-world outsider (aren’t all children this?), Valente makes us see the wonders of the world around us in a new, well, magical light.
Another plus is how despite the above magical description, she does not shy away at all from painting Tom’s experiences in this world in a darker, much more sad light. He does not, after all, fully belong here (don’t all children sometimes feel this?) and he unconsciously takes out this feeling on the things around him, and so “The childhood of Thomas Rood was full of broken things.” He tears down curtains, takes a hammer to the flagstone path, tears apart stuffy animals, “weep [s] in fits of frustration.” All because “All his life he had known that something was wrong. It was only that he did not know what it was. He felt all the time as though there were another boy inside him, a bigger boy … a boy who knew impossible things … But whenever he tried to let that boy out, he was only Thomas, red-faced, sputtering, gangly, clench-fist Thomas.”
Valente has never been one to sugar coat her worlds, even (perhaps especially) in her books aimed as much at children as adults, and much of this is truly painful: his father’s disappointed acknowledgment that Thomas was “Not Normal,” his acting-out of his frustrations, his “Rules of the World”, a list of behaviors and knowledge he must write down and teach himself even though “Other children understood them easily. Normal Children.”
But despite the moving sections on Tom’s frustrations and the general fecundity of Valente’s imagination, as mentioned, the book was mostly a disappointment for me. One reason is that all those rich, fertile inventions of fairies and places and strange animals and pencil magic and trees and post offices and special shoes and and and felt early on to be more of a exhaustive catalog of “neat strange things” than part of the narrative. It was not far into the book before I was telling myself, “Not everything needs to be list” —a list of metaphors, of images, of cool creatures, etc. It all felt overly manic. The nearest analogy I can come up with is how some sci-fi/fantasy movies will throw in a bunch of special effects because they can, but those effects do not serve plot or character or tone; they’re just neat effects.
Another issue I had was that save for the early section in Tom’s youth, I just didn’t find these characters particularly engaging or interesting. I had the same response to September in the earlier books, but those books’ strengths greatly outweighed that reaction. Here, there wasn’t enough to overcome the problem. One reason is that the plot as well was not all that compelling, feeling a bit scattered, episodic, and with the main characters sort of meandering around and reacting to encounters, some of which seemed to mostly become a reason for another catalog of neat ideas/names. Pacing was an issue, with the story slowing down in several places, and really for the first time in this series, I struggled with continuing on, putting the book down several times and picking it back up with little enthusiasm to finish, despite its relative brevity (just over 200 pages). Finally, while the other books have always been layered in terms of their audience, offering up rich opportunities for both adults and children, here that balance seemed slightly off.
The Boy Who Lost Fairyland has its moments, and one can’t help but marvel at Valente’s inventiveness. But problems that have always lain below the surface in earlier books here rise to a more noticeable level and have a more deleterious effect on the reading experience, leaving me to wonder if perhaps my time in Fairyland is coming to a close, whether the series does or not.
(original review on fantasyliterature.com)
This book takes a detour from September’s story and instead we follow a young troll named Hawthrone who is changed with a human baby and grows up as a very different type of young boy in a human family. Eventually he meets a girl named Tamerlaine and they find out that they are not human at all but from Fairy. They end up journeying to Fairyland and in the end their story just might have some rather large implications for September as well.
Although this book is a detour from the main story featuring September it does end up tying into her story in an interesting way. I enjoyed it, although with all of this series, this is a book to be read slowly and savoured. There is a lot of wonderful, sparkling description that I absolutely love, but it’s not something you can read quickly.
Valente has a very distinct writing style; it’s a bit ambiguous, very prose-like, incredibly creative, and full of amazing imagery. I absolutely adore her writing style, but it is something I only read occasionally because it does require some effort to read.
I absolutely loved reading about a troll who thinks he is a boy; while he’s a fairly normal troll he is very unusual for a boy and being raised as a boy is tough on him. I loved the character of Hawthrone and how he struggles to be “normal” and his relief when he finds out he isn’t normal. I think a lot of people who are a bit different will be able to relate to the everyday human struggle to seem “normal”.
There is a lot of humor in this book too; Hawthorne’s list of strange human rules is especially witty and hilarious. A lot of the things that happen throughout the story are very tongue in cheek.
Overall I adored this latest installment in this wonderfully creative fantasy series. The writing is absolutely stunning with beautiful prose and incredibly creative imagery. I was nervous about detouring from September’s story at first, but I shouldn’t have been. Hawthorne’s story is just as engaging and interesting as September’s has been. If you love wildly creative fantasy and beautiful prose-like writing I definitely recommend this whole series to you.