The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own Making

Book - 2011
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Twelve-year-old September's ordinary life in Omaha turns to adventure when a Green Wind takes her to Fairyland to retrieve a talisman the new and fickle Marquess wants from the enchanted woods.
Publisher: New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2011.
ISBN: 9780312649616
Characteristics: 247 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Juan, Ana


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ArapahoeElena Jun 24, 2017

Follow September and her friends on her journey to save Fairyland from a Marquess gone bad! I love the September's adventures in Fairyland because our heroine is smart, resourceful, compassionate, and determined. Valente's writing style evokes Lewis Carroll without being derivative. Great read especially for those who love fractured fairytales (like me). Loved it!

liljables May 18, 2017

This novel (and the series that follows) is one of my favourite recent finds in juvenile fiction. Valente is a champ at world-building, she has cleverly incorporated elements from fairy tales and myths, and there's the occasional nod to adult readers to keep us engaged.

Jun 25, 2016

To compare Valente to any other writer does a disservice to her brilliance and ingenuity. Others may be creative but she, without question, is a Creator; her name often follows those that loom large in Fantasy or Sci-Fi, whereas I think hers should lead the lot. I won't summarize because others have done a great job of that... I'll just say that this series is fantasy in vivid colour with florid, unapologetic, allusive, crafted prose and truly inventive characters. It is absolutely one of my most favourite series ever.

cmlibrary_ecrites May 25, 2016

This is a beautifully told adventure fairy tale that feels both classic and modern at the same time. September's story is perfect for a family read-aloud with a vibrant cast of characters and fun and quirky prose.

PimaLib_SierraG May 24, 2016

Classic style of fairy-tale adventure with a whole cast of new creatures and characters. Anyone who has read The Wizard of Oz, or Alice in Wonderland will immediately fall in love with September and her magical journey through the world of Fairyland. This book is worth memorizing the surprisingly long title.

Feb 09, 2016

My love for Valente's lush prose knows no bounds. I swear, every time I finish one of her books my heart breaks because I have to leave the strange, lovely, dangerous world that it feels she's created just for me. Happily, with this book, I have a further adventures to look forward to. This is a charming and engaging book for young readers, and a beautifully bittersweet one for adults. I recommend it very highly.

Dec 05, 2015

This book was awesome, but unexpectedly dark, and grim for a children's book. Top notch.

Jul 14, 2015

If you love fairy tales READ THIS BOOK!!!

Nov 15, 2014

Blurbs on the bookcover from Holly Black, Tamora Pierce, Peter Beagle and Neil Gaiman. Won the Andre Norton Award. Plugged by Patrick Rothfuss on his blog. Rave on Amazon by Cory Doctorow. An impressive list of fantasy fans. I see why. Imaginative it is, very. Absurb, surreal, and chaotic, sometimes. I like all these things, but I found it very hard to get through and in my library system it is juvenile fiction. Maybe I need a younger imagination, because it didn't flow well for me. Still, I recommend it and it may become a classic of the genre.

forbesrachel Sep 11, 2014

Both strange and wonderful! Valente has created an ornately worded fairytale full of beautiful descriptions, dialogue, metaphorical language, and imagery, with an almost theatrical quality. Characters and the world they inhabit are dreamlike, and in many ways run in the same vein as Alice in Wonderland. At points the narrator breaks the fourth wall to foreshadow or forewarn. In this way the author sets things up well in advance, purposefully noting important things that will entice us. Curiosity drags us forward as we try to predict why something is important. Initially withheld character motivations, like the reason for the Green Wind's actions, and why September is so willing to leave home, serves a similar purpose. Despite the fantastical context, September is actually a rather normal child in the formative stage of her life. She is no heroine, has no special talent, and is only cautiously brave. As we learn more about her, and her parents, we come to see her deeper side, and how she is less a child than we first think. Like any good adventure story, her escape into this world only forces her to grow, for Fairyland is full of problems, restrictions, and sadness. She learns that even here reality doesn't allow for true happy endings, she must decide what her outlook on life is, and by helping others, she actually helps herself. This exquisitely thought-provoking, intelligent narrative absorbs us in a world thoroughly wrought, with characters full of charm and wisdom.

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cmlibrary_ecrites Jul 14, 2016

cmlibrary_ecrites thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Nov 26, 2015

indigo_bird_270 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 12, 2014

akhansen25 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

May 19, 2014

green_bear_838 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

white_dolphin_39 Aug 12, 2013

white_dolphin_39 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

JCLAmyF May 14, 2013

JCLAmyF thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

regnard Jan 18, 2013

regnard thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

blue_bird_3138 Jul 10, 2012

blue_bird_3138 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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JCLAmyF May 14, 2013

“Stories have a way of changing faces. They are unruly things, undisciplined, given to delinquency and the throwing of erasers. This is why we must close them up into thick, solid books, so they cannot get out and cause trouble."


“Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her parents’ house, where she washed the same pink-and-yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small and amiable dog.”


[The town] “was as though the witch who built the gingerbread house in the story had a great number of friends and decided to start up a collective.”


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When September is asked by The Green Wind whether or not she’d be inclined to take a trip to Fairyland with him, she’s so excited to get going that she manages to lose a shoe in the process. Like many a good reader September is inclined to think that she knows the rules of alternate worlds. Yet it doesn’t take much time before she realizes that not all things are well in the realm of magic. A strange Marquess has taken over, having defeated the previous good ruler, and before she knows it September is sent to try to retrieve a spoon from the all powerful villain. Along the way she befriends a Wyvern who is certain that his father was a library, and a strange blue Marid boy named Saturday who can grant you a wish, but only if you defeat him in a fight. With their help, Saturday realizes what it means to lose your heart within the process of becoming less heartless.


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