A bunch of my students have read or are reading these books. They love it! The first book in the series is called The Wishing Spell. I found it to be a fun romp through old fairy-tales.
Until I started this post I was confusing Eoin Colfer, author of Artemis Fowl series, and Chris Colfer, author of The Land of Stories series. I just saw Colfer and thought it must be the same person. Colfer isn’t all that common is it? Well, they are not the same person. They are both of Irish decent though so maybe they are distant relatives. I think the writing bug is often in the blood. (My grandfather was a writer and poet.)
The Land of Stories
by Chris Colfer
Illustrated by Brandon Dorman
Editor Alvina Ling
Alex and Connor are twins who’ve lost their father recently to a car accident. Now they and their mom are trying to cope with the loss.
When Alex and Connor’s birthday rolls around, their grandmother surprises them with a book. It is the book of fairy tales that she read to them when they were younger.
They are delighted but something strange is going on with the book. They fall through the book into the land of stories. They do not know how to get back home until they learn of the wishing spell. The items needed for this spell are challenging to attain. In their travels to get the items, they meet Snow White, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf, and many other characters they heard about all their lives. They also discover a family secret.
I love the strong narrator voice in this story. It reminds me of the narration in The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
Sometimes this book had excellent, creative metaphors, and sometimes the metaphors were lackluster. The plot has a delightful, unexpected spin. It teaches a good lesson about life, which I don’t want to say because *spoilers* (said in River Song’s voice- I’m a Doctor Who Fan.)
The pacing of the story is quick enough to keep striving readers engaged through the whole book.
I listened to this one as an audio book. Chris Colfer narrates this himself. I didn’t know, until I started looking up some information for this post, he was one of the actors in Glee. He has experience with acting and does a pretty good job narrating.
Who Will Like It?
Anyone who loves fairy tales will like this. As I said above, many of my students are reading this series and love it. I read the book because my students recommended it to me. Some of the best books I read are due to my student’s recommendations. We have an awesome librarian at my school who puts really great books in the hands of the kids too.
Striving Readers and Advanced readers alike enjoy this book. Plus this is only book one in a series of six books.
Foul Language: None
Sexual Content: None
Substance Abuse: No