- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
- Series: The Land of Stories (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (July 17, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 031620157X
- ISBN-13: 978-0316201575
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,183 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Hardcover – July 17, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-When Alex and Conner's father unexpectedly dies, the twins lose the person who always had the perfect story to cheer them up. Then, on their 12th birthday, their grandmother gives them the book of fairy tales he used to read to them. Suddenly it seems to come to life, and the youngsters find themselves falling into the Land of Stories, seemingly with no way to get out. Desperate, they follow instructions in a mysterious journal: if they gather eight items from various residents in the kingdoms of the Land of Stories, they can complete the Wishing Spell and have one wish granted. After scaling castle walls, diving deep into the home of mermaids, and meeting characters from all of the beloved fairy tales, they are stymied by the Evil Queen, who has escaped from Snow White's dungeon. With the hope of using the spell gone, the twins appear to have no way home until they meet Fairy Godmother, their own grandmother. In a way, they find comfort from their grief over their father's death when they realize that they have been following his journal and that he grew up in this land. The writing quality in this adventure is inconsistent and detracts from the fast-paced story. The deep sadness of the twins comes through, but they are somewhat one-dimensional, since Alex is so much the nerd and Conner, the class clown. The plotline, however, pulls readers in and is entertaining, and Colfer's passion for fairy tales shines through. Turn to Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark & Grimm (Dutton, 2010) for higher-quality writing in a recent fractured fairy-tale novel.-Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
#1 New York Times Bestseller
"There's more in Colfer's magic kingdoms than Disney has dreamt of."―USA Today
"It will hit big with its combination of earnestness and playful poise."―The New York Times Book Review
"In The Land of Stories, Colfer showcases his talent for crafting fancifully imaginative plots and multidimensional characters."―Los Angeles Times
"A magical debut."―Family Circle
"It's hard not to love a book dedicated to the Glee star's grandmother...Colfer gets off many good lines [and] the nifty ending ties the plot's multiple strands up while leaving room for further fairy tale adventures."―Publishers Weekly
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The reason I gave it 4 stars is because of the language. There is an occasional swear word which is just unnecessary. Obviously I didn't read those words aloud, but a few kids following along know that they were there. I have a hard time recommending a book to kids that has language that I wouldn't want them using.
My concern as a Mom of four? The moral judgements that I just don’t want my kids absorbing. The brother and sister mostly get along, which is nice, but to have a sibling show their love for another one by helping them cheat on a test? Uh, NO. Enabling isn’t love, folks. The book is sprinkled with morally dubious examples like that one. Skip. Next.
“Fablehaven” or for older readers “The Hero and the Crown” or if you like moral twists that make you THINK- “The School for Good and Evil”. “Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow” for an amazing adaptation of a fairy tale.
If you are looking for an excellent and edge of your seat book from the series of The Land of Stories then The Land of Stories the Wishing Spell is for you! This book will transport you right away into the world of magic, fairies, and goblins. Chris Colfer does an extraordinarily good job at making the characters extremely realistic and leaving you on the edge of her seat. From the two main characters Alex and Conner Bailey we learn that perseverance is key to success and not trying is not an option. In this book Alex and Conner Bailey are normally 6th grade twins. They only live with their mom because their dad died in a car crash. One day they find out that their grandmother is actually the fairy godmother of the fairy tale world.They find this out because for their birthday their grandmother gives them an old fairy tale treasury and the twins fell into the book landing in the fairytale world. The twins are trying to find a way out of the book but a dark force is trying to stop them. Will they make it home or will they be stuck in the fairy tale world forever?
In The Land of Stories the Wishing Spell the book has great description that clearly paints a picture in you mind at all times. At this part in the book they are describing a jail cell, “The dungeon was a miserable place. Light was scarce and flickered from the torched bolted to the stone walls. Foul-smelling water dripped inside from the moat circling the palace above. Large rats chased each other across the floor searching for food. This was no place for a queen,”(pg.1). During this part you can clearly picture this dungeon that a queen is locked up in, with water dripping from the walls and very little light. And off the bat it already gets you wondering about why a queen would be locked up in a dungeon. Another piece of evidence that shows description is “Mrs.Peters was a tall, thin woman who always wore a dress that resembled old, patterned sofas. Her hair was dark and curly and sat perfectly on top of her head like a hat (and her students often though it was). Through a pair of thick glasses hee eyes were permanently squinted from all the judgmental looks she has given her classes over the years,”(pg. 12). This can clearly show you what Alex and Connor's teacher Mrs.Peters looks like with her squinted eyes and perfect hair. It gives you an image so vivid it could be in a movie. And that is why in The Land of Stories the Wishing Spell the book has great description that clearly paints a picture in you mind at all times.
The book also has characters that have real emotions and that are easy to relate to. One piece from the book is when Alex and Conner are in class and its relatable, “Alex Bailey eagerly sat straight up in her seat.She really enjoyed her teachers lessons.(...) Connor Bailey jumped back to life, almost knocking his desk over. He had dozed off again,” (pg 16). This is relatable on both sides of the bialy twins school day. Some people may be into school and love learning about new and interesting things, and others may be into school but maybe it's boring to them sometimes so they doze off. In that specific part of the story it's when the kids just went to class and their teacher was giving them a lesson about fairy tales . Another piece of evidence that shows that the characters are relatable is,”Look,’ Alex said, and pointed to a for sale sign next to the oak tree. A bright red stripe with the word sold had been recently added to it, Alex's eyes welled up with tears,” (pg 30). This shows very human like emotions because in this part in the book Alex and Connor's childhood house just sold and now they can't live there anymore. And all of this evidence clearly shows the characters in the book have very human like emotions which makes them easy to relate to.
And in the book it has cliffhangers at every moment. One piece of evidence that supports this is, “Alex leaned further forward the book and fell in. ‘Alex NO’ Conner yelled as he saw he fall into the book,” (pg 78). This is a huge cliffhanger because Alex found out that a fairy tale book was a porthole to the fairytale world and she fell into it, and connor was watching her fall in and there is almost no way out. Another Piece of evidence is,”It was impossible for the kids to stop staring. They both stood in front of her as if she was a rabid t rex. The witch was skinny with lots of burn marks, they started to step away then the witch lunged at Connor and grabbed his arm,” (pg 112). This part is a cliffhanger because they just found the witch in the gingerbread house from the book Hansel and Gretel and the witch was trying to invite them into her house then she grabbed Connor and you get concerned about what might happen to them.This shows the book it has cliffhangers at every moment.
All in all the book The Land of Stories the Wishing Spell By Chris Colfer is an exciting, fun book about kids in a fairy tale world.Its is a total cliffhanger and there are goblins and trolls at every corner.It shows you that perseverance is key to success and not trying is not an option. But also we learn from the Connor and Alex Bailey is,whenever they have a task to complete they are normally uncomfortable in that situation,but they always complete the task. So we learn from them that stepping outside your comfort zone can make you stronger.