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1 Beaverton Children's- Science Fiction and Fantasy
3 Burnside Children's Middle Readers- General

Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


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

ISBN13: 9780312649616
ISBN10: 0312649614
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

rgreendyk, October 21, 2014 (view all comments by rgreendyk)
I went to Powell's to buy books for my children, and my daughter bought this book. It was a used copy, and it wasn't expensive. When she opened it I was expecting to see kind of worn, fairly used looking pages, but everything looked brand new! Thank you Powell's for selling all of these books. It makes my whole family happy!
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lilianxcheng, July 28, 2012 (view all comments by lilianxcheng)
Valente brings us the absolutely spellbinding world of Fairyland in he Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Twelve-year old September is swept by the Green Wind while washing teacups and brought into Fairyland for a unique retelling of the Persephone myth. The characters, the creatures were fascinating, and the story testing the limits of my imagination every step of the way. I see the magic of Fairyland, the beauty of Valente’s writing, but at times it just felt a bit too random, a bit too confusing for me to follow. While reading, I often felt disillusioned�"I find myself asking, “Did I just read what I think I just reading? Or did I get lost somewhere along the way?” Never the less, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book for fairytale lovers. It will blow your mind if you have the imagination big enough for it.

Story (Where is this Story Going??):
I knew it was a Persephone retelling, but I had no idea what to expect. Valente’s whimsical style is quite obvious from the beginning�"it reads like one of our beloved “Once Upon A Time” fairytales with an omnipresent narrator who doesn’t hesitant to address the reader. From the title, I knew she would be sailing (but calling it a ship might be stretching it a bit), and I was waiting and waiting for the sailing to happen�"it certainly took a loonnng while. Even the plot felt unclear at times: to explore Fairyland? to leave Fairyland? to get a sword? to save her friends? to overthrow the Marquess?
I have to say the story wrapped up really nicely at the end though, like a pleasant fairytale.

The Marquess
The villain who hides a shocking secret of her own that adds another layer to the story. I’m grateful that she does have a backstory, and is not evil just for the heck of it. She also is the source of many questions: is she a kid? or an adult stuck in a kid’s body? And are her actions really evil?
She’s a bundle of mysteries I would love to unravel.

This was the main reason why even 250 pages turned into a hard struggle. It felt like another Wonderland where nothing seems to quite make sense; I was also reminded of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach (the sailing part) and Terry Pratchett’s YA Discworld novels.
I was left in confusion a huge chunk of the time: “What? A cross-breed between a Wyverin and a LIBRARY? Is there another definition of library that I don’t know of, or does she mean a physical LIBRARY? What? She’s turning into a TREE??”

I Wanted To Have a Dictionary Beside Me. Is This REALLY a Middle-grade, Or Am I Just Stupid?:
I wonder if it’s a middle-grade simply because there were words I didn’t know. I rarely even have that problem with YA reads. I am feeling slightly ashamed right now. *hides in a hole* I need to expand my vocabulary!
I am not sure if it’s my mind the the gutter (or me reading too many Harlequins), but a twelve year old being “ravished” just doesn’t sound right even though I am aware of its multiple meanings.

The ending redeemed the story for me, it just tied together nicely. Not exactly a cliffhanger, but the ending left me with many questions. Are they pulling a time paradox on me?

Overall, it was a magical story that just fell a bit short for me. But I know many others love it, and if you have a big imagination�"you certainly will as well. It’s a very unique book, with a lovely story and a delightful little girl.
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Holly Alder, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Holly Alder)
A new classic in the style of Alice in Wonderland, but even better. A wonderful read-aloud for the whole family.
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Susan Danford, July 30, 2011 (view all comments by Susan Danford)
This sounds like a real charmer!! I'm ordering it so that I can share it with the students in my elementary library. I'm sure we'll enjoy it together. Starred reviews are always a good sign for me. I also love to show signed copies to my young readers.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Christin, June 16, 2011 (view all comments by Christin)
Brilliant, lovely fairytale for readers of all ages!

It's supposedly a YA book, but it's really for anyone who loves fairytales. Plus, Valente's use of language is so lush (she's also a poet, which is obvious) the prose feels a little more substantial than the usual YA fare (which I love, don't get me wrong), so I really think adults would love it, even if they don't usually go for YA.

I loved everything about this book. I had a huge smile on my face when I finished it. It definitely incorporates a lot of familiar fairytale tropes, but Valente manages to keep things feeling fresh and innovative at the same time. It's a delicate balance, but I find a lot of her writing is really great at finding it. September herself is charming and clever and I loved her immediately. A-Through-L, the half-wyvern/half-library, is a great concept and a great character.

Such a good book!
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
 1-5 of 5

Product Details

Valente, Catherynne M.
Feiwel & Friends
Juan, Ana
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Publication Date:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
9.5 x 6.4 x 0.9 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 10 up to 14

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Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
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Children's » Middle Readers » General
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Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Feiwel & Friends - English 9780312649616 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Originally published in serialized form online (where it became the first e-book to win the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy), this glittering confection is Valente's first work for young readers. The book's appeal is crystal clear from the outset: this is a kind of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by way of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, made vivid by Juan's Tenniel-inflected illustrations. An omniscient narrator relates the absurd Fairyland adventures of 12-year-old September from Omaha, Neb. Valente seems more interested in crafting the individual episodes, and her narrator's moral observations thereon, than in September's overall quest to retrieve a witch's spoon from the terrible marquess of Fairyland. Homages abound — an echo of Tolkien here, a cameo by Lord Dunsany there, and a nod for Hayao Miyazaki, too, all without feeling derivative. It's an allusive playground for adults, but even though young readers won't catch every reference, those who thrill to lovingly wrought tales of fantasy and adventure (think McCaughrean or DiCamillo) will be enchanted. And though the pace is lackadaisical, it's just as well — it's the sort of book one doesn't want to end. Ages 10 — 14. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “A glorious balancing act between modernism and the Victorian Fairy Tale, done with heart and wisdom."
"Review" by , “September is a clever, fun, strong-hearted addition to the ranks of bold, adventurous girls. Valente's subversive storytelling is sheer magic."
"Review" by , “A mad, toothsome romp of a fairy tale — full of oddments, whimsy, and joy."
"Review" by , “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 away 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!"
"Review" by , “[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.” (starred review)
"Review" by , "This book is quite simply a gold mine." (starred review)
"Review" by , "Amusing, wrenching, and thought-provoking."
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