The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
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“One of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century.”—Time magazine, on the Fairyland series
Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn't . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday. With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when author Catherynne M. Valente first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Fiction title for 2011.
Catherynne M. Valente is the author of over a dozen books of fiction and poetry, and is best-known for her urban speculative fiction, including Palimpsest (winner of the 2010 Lambda Award), and The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden. This, her first novel for young readers, was posted online in 2009 and won the Andre Norton Award—the first book to ever win before traditional publication. Cat Valente lives on an island off the coast of Maine with her partner, two dogs, and an enormous cat. Ana Juan is a world-renowned illustrator known in this country for her wonderful covers for the New Yorker magazine, as well as the children’s books The Night Eater, and Frida, written by Jonah Winter. She lives in Spain.
Science fiction and fantasy books aren't just getting more popular, they're interbreeding with other genres to produce wild new hybrid forms â?? swapping DNA with literary novels, commenting on current events, morphing into historical science fiction romances, and evolving into hard-boiled detective fantasy. More at NPR.org
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“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 Zombies vs. Unicorns and the Spiderwick Chronicles
“When I saw 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"This is a kind of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by way of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- it's the sort of book one doesn't want to end." -- Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review “[Fairyland creates] a world as bizarre and enchanting as any Wonderland or Oz and a heroine as curious, resourceful and brave as any Alice or Dorothy. Complex, rich and memorable.” -- Kirkus, Starred Review
"This book is quite simply a gold mine." -- Booklist, Starred Review
"Amusing, wrenching, and thought-provoking." -- The Horn Book