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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a middle grade fantasy for all ages by Catherynnne M. Valente.

Twelve-year-old September has gotten rather tired of the sameness of each day – washing the same dishes, sleeping on the same pillow, etc.

That is why she leaps at the chance to go to Fairyland when the Green Wind and his flying leopard extend an invitation.

Adventure at last!

Yet Fairyland is in turmoil – things are not as they once were now that the evil Marquess is ruling after the suspicious disappearance of the beloved Queen Mallow.

With the help of a dragon-like creature who has memorized A-through-L of the encyclopedia and a blue boy who is almost, but not quite, human – September will try to restore Fairyland back to its former glory.

Days after finishing The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making I am still thinking about it!

The prose and plot is astonishingly rich in its cleverness, inventiveness and beauty. I had to extend some effort, initially, to get a grip on this unwaveringly intelligent and charmingly multifaceted tale. Just as in the marvelous Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, you have to absorb not only the amusing wittiness but embrace the oddities, the puzzles and the deeper layer that slowly reveals itself to be incredibly thought-provoking.


With that early effort came an extremely rewarding reading experience. The distance that my reading brain felt at the outset to this elegant story was overcome by an enchantment that forces the reader to slow down and savor.

Valente creates a truly new, magnificent Fairyland that is imaginative, visual and heart wrenching. It’s a perfect book for reading aloud – which I did often – with its complex dialogue and excellent, omniscient narration.

There truly are some new magical presentations – and a genuinely creepy, chilling villain in the hair-color-changing Marquess.

I found The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making to be remarkably moving and effective – and I cannot WAIT to read the next books.

Because – ever so happily – there’s many books to come!


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