Synopses & Reviews
andlt;b andgt;When Rory realizes fairy tales are the real deal at Ever After School, she embarks on a classic quest to fulfill her destiny.andlt;/bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. And after she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional. But as Rory soon learns, fairy tales are very realand#8212;and she is destined to star in one of her own.andlt;BRandgt;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp; This first installment of The Ever Afters series reimagines classic fairy tale characters in a modern context, merging familiar fantasy with the everyday realities of middle-grade existence.
"In the frothy launch of the Ever Afters series, sixth-grader Rory Landon receives much unwanted attention as a result of her divorced celebrity parents and her perpetual status as the new kid. But when she's recruited by the Ever After School, where no one knows her family and fairy tales are recreated, she feels like her life is beginning. Rory immediately establishes her capability by rescuing a girl from a dragon and meets characters like Rumpelstiltskin, the librarian; Hansel, the sword-fighting instructor; and Sleeping Beauty, the Director. Despite Rory's ominous dreams and the knowledge that tales can be 'failed' (meaning people die), she embarks on a journey into 'Jack and the Beanstalk' with two other 'Characters-in-training': Lena, an aspiring inventor, and Chase, a cocky son of a legend. Bach's premise is entertaining, and her storytelling offers charming details particularly as the students tackle iconic obstacles (such as climbing the beanstalk). The laundry list of fairy tales and characters involved, though, results in an adventure that can feel cluttered. Ages 8 12. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary and Media. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
On an expedition to steal a giantand#8217;s coins, hen and harp, Rory Landon discovers that she is destined for a special role in fairy-tale history. andlt;BRandgt; Only child of divorced celebrities, Rory is not your ordinary sixth-grader. Sheand#8217;s had plenty of experience with after-school programs in the many different places sheand#8217;s lived. Nor is Ever After School your ordinary day care center. The children and grandchildren of fairy-tale characters, EASers are Characters-in-training, likely to be part of each otherand#8217;s tales and certain to be sent on one or more quests of their own. Here, for the first time in years, Rory makes friends who donand#8217;t care about her famous parents. Here, she fights a dragon, with a real sword. And when her friend Lenaand#8217;s first tale turns out to require beanstalk-climbing, Roryand#8217;s thrilled to be one of her Companions, even though sheand#8217;s afraid of heights and even though her least favorite person, Chase Turnleaf, is coming along. Their accidental visit to the Snow Queen in her Glass Mountain prison changes their relationship and sets the stage for a promised sequel. Rory recalls her adventures in a first-person chronological narration that includes plenty of dialogue. andlt;BRandgt; This fast-paced combination of middle school realism and fairy-tale fantasy will appeal particularly to imaginative readers already familiar with traditional tales. (Fantasy. 9-13)
When sixth-grader Rory attends Ever After School, she can finally stop and#8220;acting like a side characterand#8221; in the lives of her famous movie-actress mother and director father. EAS, it turns out, is not a run-of-the-mill after-school program but a place filled with magicand#8211;dragons, talking fawns, and tables with never-ending foodand#8211;and her new acquaintances are and#8220;characters-in-trainingand#8221; who, under the guidance of fairy-tale heavyweights (e.g., Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Rumplestiltskin), go off to fight giants, dragons, and the evil Snow Queen. When Roryand#8217;s friend Lena chooses her and Chase (Roryand#8217;s nemesis) to accompany her up the beanstalk to steal the giantand#8217;s gold, they have no idea of the dangers theyand#8217;ll face or the demands the tale will impose. From getting trapped in a locked rolltop desk to fighting off wolves inside a glass mountain, the threesome meet every challenge head-on, narrowly escaping being captured (or eaten!), and returning triumphant, if a bit battle-scarred. Rory realizes that, even with her transient life, sheand#8217;ll remain part of EAS and be ready someday to vanquish the Snow Queen in a fairy tale that is uniquely hers. Readers will delight in fast-paced, detail-rich chapters. Thereand#8217;s plenty of magic to intrigue Harry Potter fans and enough twists and turns to entice even reluctant readers. The relationships among the three strong protagonists develop believably, and the secondary characters have enough dimension to maintain interest. This debut novel is a light, fun look at fairy tales after the and#8220;happily ever after.and#8221;and#8211;Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
First-time author Bach offers a fresh take on the whole fairy-tales-made-real theme. Rory Landon, known best for her Hollywood parents, finds herself at the Ever After School. At first she assumes the school is a role-playing game gone overboard, but eventually she accepts the truth: magic is real and each student is a Character destined to star in a variation of a Tale. To Roryand#8217;s discomfort, she finds that she is well-known for her own sake, not for her parentsand#8212;and she doesnand#8217;t understand why the evil Snow Queen is talking about her. When Roryand#8217;s new friend, Lena, starts her own Tale, a variation of and#8220;Jack and the Beanstalk,and#8221; she chooses Rory to help, and secrets are revealed. The pace picks up at this point, with giants, baby dragons, and the Snow Queen in her Glass Mountain prison. While the story lags occasionally, particularly the overly long denouement, the book succeeds overall. Full of action, humor, realistic school dynamics, and plenty of opportunity for future books, this one should be popular. Pair with Marissa Burtand#8217;s andlt;iandgt;andlt;a href="http://booklistonline.com/Storybound-Marissa-Burt/pid=4956647"andgt;andlt;iandgt;Storyboundandlt;/iandgt;andlt;/aandgt;andlt;/iandgt; (2012).
When Rory realizes fairy tales are the real deal at Ever After School, she embarks on a classic quest to fulfill her destiny.
Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. And after she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional. But as Rory soon learns, fairy tales are very real--and she is destined to star in one of her own.
This first installment of The Ever Afters series reimagines classic fairy tale characters in a modern context, merging familiar fantasy with the everyday realities of middle-grade existence.
About the Author
Shelby Bach grew up reading every book she could find and writing stories in battered notebooks. She also rarely came home with a clean shirt and had a lot of accidents that ended with a hunt for Band-Aids. Nowadays, she writes on her laptop rather than in a notebook, but not much else has changed. She is the author of the Ever Afters series, which includes andlt;iandgt;Ofandlt;/iandgt; andlt;iandgt;Giants and Iceandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Of Witches and Windandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Of Sorcery and Snowandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;Of Enemies and Endingsandlt;/iandgt;. She lives in Portland, Oregon.