Morgan's Reviews > The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own M... by Catherynne M. Valente
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's review
Apr 30, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-adventure, ya-fantasy
Recommended to Morgan by: Stina
Recommended for: Alice in Wonderland Fans
Read from April 24 to 29, 2012 , read count: 1

The title is irresistible, and having received a hearty recommendation from a close friend, I simply had to give this book a go.

It starts off a bit on the precious side; too clever for its own britches, if you know what I mean. Just reading through the Dramatis Personae on page 1 (siblings named "Hello" and "Goodbye"?), I had to wonder what I was getting myself into.

But as the story progresses, Valente guides us through an adventure full of deep friendships, heartless children who aren't so heartless, mythology, wonder, and of course, plenty of curiosities and oddities. Our protagonist, September, is skillfully written to be both innocent and worldly. By the end, I was thoroughly ready to read about September's next adventure in Fairyland.

A previous commenter suggested that this is in fact not a children's book at all, but a book best suited for adult readers. I've tried to imagine myself at 12-years-old reading this book, but the truth is I was hip-deep in Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles at the time, so maybe the comparison isn't particularly helpful. =^_^= I think this book has the rare ability to be two completely different things to two different audiences. Young readers will enjoy the adventure and cast of characters, while adult readers will be able to enjoy the numerous layers of allegory and youthful nostalgia.
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