The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Kepler's Staff Review

Every so often I get the rare chance to read a book that I know I will treasure for the rest of my life. I can think, offhand, of maybe three titles that have fit that description - but after reading "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland" I am lucky enough to have a new book to add to that list.

I've been meaning to read Catherynne Valente for quite some time now and it is only through great restraint that, after finishing "Girl," I have not rushed off to buy everything she's ever written. "Girl" is quite simply stunning. "Girl" is - to shamelessly steal a quote from another of my favourite books - terrible and beautiful at the same time. While the genesis of the tale is simple: a girl goes on a quest for a magic item in fairyland, the execution is mind-bogglingly good. September's adventures through Fairyland offer Valente a place to meditate on childhood, growing up, friendship, love, laughter, and sadness. It is a book that children will enjoy - there is plenty of adventure and danger to be had - but that will grow with the reader. I was put in mind of my all-time favourite novel, "The Last Unicorn" (appropriately enough, the author of "The Last Unicorn," Peter Beagle, has a blurb on the front flap of "Girl"), in that there are layers upon layers of meaning to be read and pondered over.

It's difficult, as a bookseller, to come up with new ways to describe a book we loved. In the case of a book that captures one's heart this way, old adjectives like brilliant seem useless and tawdry. It makes me wish I were a writer of Valente's capability in order to do justice to this little miracle of a book - alas, I am reduced to saying you MUST read it. You must, and you must give it to every child you know, because you will be giving them a gift that will speak something new to them at every stage of their life; and that is a gift beyond measure. -- Sarah L.


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making By Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illustrator)
Not available
ISBN: 9780312649616
Published: Feiwel & Friends - May 10th, 2011