Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Glee star Chris Colfer has claimed that he began writing The Land of Stories when he was ten years old and it was his dream to one day share his novel and ideas with the world. Finally, his dream has come to fruition in this vibrant and fun-filled fairytale.

Alex and Conner Bailey are twins, though they could not be any more different. However, after the sudden death of their father and the selling of their home, the twins must stick together and remain strong for their hard-working mother.

When the two were growing up, their grandmother and father would read them fairy tales from a fantastically illustrated book. It is a fond memory the two share. For their twelfth birthday, their grandmother decides to gift The Land of Stories, the elaborate fairytale book, to the twins. Eventually, Alex and Conner tumble into the magical world of the fairytale book only to encounter a number of recognizable characters, including Queen Snow White and Queen Red Riding Hood. The plot thickens as the twins discover the Wishing Spell, a journal with clues and information which guide them through The Land of Stories. In a fun turn of events, the twins discover this strange, magical land is far more familiar than they ever imagined.

Colfer's prose is humorous and endearing, making this a fun read for older as well as younger readers. Dialogue and banter between the brother and sister is especially witty and amusing, while Colfer's twist on old favorites is fresh and reminds readers why we love fairy tales to begin with - we are allowed to enter a mythical world of grandiose experiences.

In the spirit of fantasy and outrageous experiences, you may also try The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and its sequel The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. Or for more twists on an old classic, try Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs or Bruce Lansky's Newfangled Fairy Tales.

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