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Pages & Co. #1

Tilly and the Bookwanderers

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A magical adventure to delight the imagination. A curl-up-on-the-sofa debut from a uniquely talented author.

Eleven year-old Tilly has lived above her grandparents' bookshop ever since her mother disappeared shortly after she was born. Like the rest of her family, Tilly loves nothing more than to escape into the pages of her favourite stories.

One day Tilly realises that classic children's characters are appearing in the shop through the magic of `book wandering' - crossing over from the page into real life.

With the help of Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago, so she bravely steps into the unknown, unsure of what adventure lies ahead and what dangers she may face.

400 pages, Hardcover

First published September 18, 2018

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Anna James

12 books971 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,338 reviews
Profile Image for Lucy.
415 reviews612 followers
September 16, 2019
The books we love when we’re growing up shape us in a special way.

This was so cute !! A delightful novel for book lovers.

This book features 11 year old Tilly, who lives with her Grandparents in their bookshop called Pages & Co. She has lived in the bookshop ever since her mother suddenly disappeared with no idea as to where she went or why.

Tilly’s favourite books, especially, are Alices Adventures in Wonderland and Anne if Green Gables. One day Tilly’s favourite book characters appear in the shop and discovers that she can not only converse with them, but can also travel into their worlds. This is through the magic of bookwandering that Tilly holds... and she is not the only one in her family to do this.

Through learning about bookwandering and her Grandparents experiences with it, will Tilly be able to find out what truly happened to her mother all those years ago ?

This book shows a girl who has a love of books (which is enough on the first basis to draw me in). It was great to see all these characters come alive and the author, Anna James, does a brilliant job at portraying how those characters would speak and act if another person was suddenly part of their story. The book shows the power of reading (and a little extra through the magic of book wandering!). It also shows love to your family and friendships.

Books can change minds and change worlds, open doors and open minds, and plant seeds that can grow into magical or even terrifying things.
Profile Image for Gavin Hetherington.
673 reviews5,639 followers
February 12, 2020
This magical book was a wander-ous read!

Tilly seems to have a special ability awakened when two of her all-time favourite fictional characters visit her at her grandparents' book shop - Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and Anne of Anne of Green Gables. Not only can they visit her, but she can visit them by entering their books and traversing their worlds. But there are rules to being a book wanderer and things can become very dangerous if she finds herself at the end of one of their stories. At the same time, a man seems to be following her into the books, and she wonders if there's any connection between book wandering and her mother's disappearance.

I enjoyed reading this book so much, it was fun and had such great imagination behind it. There were a few odes to storytelling and classic children's literature that made this such a heart-warming read and the perfect start to a new series. The borrowed characters of Alice and Anne felt very genuine, so Anna James really got this characters right. Tilly turns out to be a great protagonist and I like her as a character, as well as her friend Oskar. I loved their journeys and them finding out about book wandering. I am looking forward to more adventures in the future!
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,034 reviews1,421 followers
April 11, 2020
"Books can change minds and change worlds, open doors and open minds, plant seeds that can grow into magical or even terrifying things. Stories are things to be loved and respected at the same time; never underestimate the power of them. It's why books are often casualties of censorship; those who ban or burn books are those who are scared of what can be found among their pages."

I am absolutely enamoured with every single thing about this book. I don't think I've had such a connection with a children's story as an adult before and I have definitely found a new favourite here.

Matilda Pages resides with her grandparents in their family owned bookshop, Pages and Co. With half-term newly begun, she is looking forward to nothing more than drinking endless mugs of hot chocolate, sneaking chocolate brownies from the bookshop cafe, and immersing herself in a good book. But, much to her surprise and less so to her grandparents', the books start to immerse her!

This is the book of any bibliophile's dream. It is written with the true passion of a reader and with a great understanding of various classics. I'm not quite sure the middle grade age range this is aimed at would have a full understanding of the classic influences and nods throughout, but this adult reader appreciated them all immensely.

Tilly's character is a mixture of her two greatest literary loves - Anne from Anne of Green Gables and Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. She has the sweetest soul with the most adventurous spirit, and the combination of the two had me eager to venture with her anywhere!

I'm still in awe that James crafted a novel twisted enough to surprise this full-grown reader. There were three grand reveals along the story's journey. Two came with open-mouthed surprise from me, whilst the last was something I was anticipating for a while. As the narrative continued, I only grew more in love with everything about it and I am eager to continue on with Tilly and her adventures, wherever she may take me.
Profile Image for Jade Ratley.
192 reviews2,924 followers
May 2, 2021
4.43 on CAWPILE

Please don't hate me for this one
Profile Image for 8stitches 9lives.
2,787 reviews1,627 followers
September 15, 2018
Ahh, now this took me back to my childhood! I know I would've marvelled at the simply adorable story, an inspirational, indomitable heroine and more books than you can shake a stick at, had this book been around in my formative years. I see that this is the first in a new series which makes me very happy. It's also Anna James's debut, I can see why she has chosen to continue this as a series - the premise is one that book lovers of any and all ages will find beautifully compelling, I know I did.

This is a perfect tale for those who love both magic and books, and they are brought together in a wonderful way in 'Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers'. Essentially, it is the story of youngster Tilly and her ability to 'bookwander' - where characters can come to life and jump from off the page and into the real world. It also allows readers to join their favourite fictional characters in the world portrayed in the book in which they feature. As if that wasn't enough bookish goodness, Tilly's grandparents, with whom she lives since the disappearance of her mother, own a North London bookshop. It was in said shop that Tilly had her first wandering experience and where she initially encountered classic children's characters. With the help of Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago, so she bravely steps into the unknown, unsure of what adventure lies ahead and what dangers she may face.

Well, this was a thrill-a-minute and adventure aplenty, it also has some important messages on friendship. I am sure that this will appeal not only to youngsters but adults, too. I am certainly a lot older than the recommended reading age, but I absolutely loved this! So much so, that I am already eagerly anticipating the follow-up. There is no doubt that this was written by a book lover for other bibliophiles to enjoy - there are many descriptions that only the bookish would delight in. It portrays accurately the intense and magical feelings you get when reading a timeless tale. Nostalgic and imaginative, this is a superb debut!

Many thanks to HarperCollins UK - Children's for an ARC. I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,093 reviews6,576 followers
November 3, 2020
1.) Tilly and the Bookwanderers ★★★★★
2.) Tilly and the Lost Fairytales ★★★★★
3.) Tilly and the Map of Stories ★★★★★



"Our stories are how we will be remembered - so we've got to make sure they are worth telling."

representation: dyslexia, being a child of a non-nuclear family, characters of colour (described as having brown skin.)

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


- A book about books. What more could you possibly want?
- Omg the fact that her grandmother was just casually hanging out with LIZZY BENNET HAHA OMG
- The cat called alice who lives in the bookshop I LOVE HER
- The writing is SO GOOD
- A secret underground library/ society of book wanderers??? OMG THIS BOOK JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER
- So pure, so wholesome, new fave <3

"The books we love when we're growing up shape us in a special way, Tilly. The characters in the books we read help us decide who we want to be."

trigger warnings: loss of loved ones (in the past), divorced parents.
Profile Image for Lisa Vegan.
2,761 reviews1,218 followers
February 24, 2023
Wow! I really liked this book.

Thanks so much to Goodreads friend (artist) Laura for telling me more than once about this book and for all her book suggestions to try to help me get out of my latest reading slump.

This is a really cute and clever story. I did predict almost everything major that would happen as soon as it was possible to even guess, or so I thought, but a bit less than 2/3 the way through the book I did get a (pleasant) shock. Also, I knew the ending was one possibility but this is a series so I wasn’t sure how much would get resolved in this first book until very near to the end of the book. This is a fun read. There is a lot of great humor. I enjoyed some of the creative names too. There are many suspenseful parts and the suspense got more and more intense as the book went on. The world building is good but something felt off. Maybe it was because it felt incomplete. I am assuming that more of it will be developed in the additional books.

I would have loved this book when I was 9 and 10 years old, despite Alice of Wonderland being in it.

I knew most of the stories included but they weren’t my very favorites when I was 8-12. My favorites would have made for a less adventurous adventure, with one exception. I loved A Little Princess and Anne of Green Gables but I’ve never liked Alice in Wonderland and don’t really remember much about Treasure Island.

Charming illustrations! They’re wonderful! I appreciated their inclusion.

I think it would make for a perfect activity to read this book with fourth and fifth graders and then assign them to write stories putting themselves into their favorite book or another book of their choice. I would have loved doing that at that age. It is fun to think about now too.

I appreciate that (except for maybe one word?) that the original British English is in the American edition, but I think the title was changed from Tilly and the Bookwanderers to The Bookwanderers and I have no idea why that choice was made.

I am not sure whether or not I’ll read the rest of the series. This book’s story felt complete in its own way and I felt satisfied when I got to the end of it. Then again, I’d probably enjoy spending more time with these characters. I love Tilly and Oscar. I think it is a good choice that in a book about books to have the character Oscar have dyslexia and show how he often reads audiobooks and that yes they count. I love Amelia and both of Tilly’s grandparents. I like Oscar’s mother too. I appreciate it when older characters in children’s books are written as interesting and fully developed people. There is a scary villain in this story, more frightening than I would have expected in a story for this age group, but I’d have probably taken that more in stride when I was in elementary school than I do now.

Some quotes that I liked:

“Stories enhance our lives; they shouldn’t replace them.”

“Books can change minds and change worlds, open doors and open minds, and plant seeds that can grow into magical or even terrifying things. Stories are things to be loved and respected at the same time; never underestimate the power of them.”

“The books we love when we’re growing up shape us in a special way, Tilly. The characters in the books we read help us decide who we want to be.”

“…because stories last much longer than we do. Our stories are how we will be remembered – so we’ve got to make sure they are worth telling.”

“Friends should bring out the best in you, not be the same as you. I’m sure you’re someone’s perfect fit.”

“Grandad had always told her to write her name in her books, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that her mum did the same thing when she was little. “It’s about creating a record of who’s read and loved each book,” he would say.”

“I think a bookshop is like a map of the world. There are infinite paths you can take through it and none of them are right or wrong. Here in a bookshop we give readers landmarks to help them find their way, but every reader has to learn to set their own compass.”

And a quote in the Acknowledgments section:

“To Anne Shirley, Sara Crew, and Alice, and also to Lyra Belacqua, who is sadly still in copyright.”
Profile Image for Spencer Orey.
540 reviews124 followers
April 9, 2020
A sweet book about reading and loving stories. Bookwandering is a cool meta kind of magic and seems like a promising thing to base a series on.

I think it's an interesting gambit to base a MG book on classics like this, and I'm glad it worked. Like, do kids these days still read Anne of Green Gables or A Little Princess? Will this make them want to? The references to Harry Potter made more sense to me, and it's fun that a book like this can have its own story but also exist in a relationship to similar books.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 31 books5,631 followers
September 1, 2020
This was fantastic, in all senses of the word! An absolute joy to read as a lover of books, libraries, and especially cozy little bookshops! I wanted to see if there's a comprehensive list anywhere of the books mentioned, A Little Princess and Alice in Wonderland are obvious, Treasure Island and Pride and Prejudice as well, but there were at least a dozen others. The story itself is intriguing and delightful, and there is a plot twist about halfway through that had my kids and I screaming out loud. We talked about it for DAYS.
Profile Image for Prabhjot Kaur.
1,047 reviews149 followers
April 30, 2021
I love middle-grade fantasies and when a book is set in a bookshop or a library, it's even better. When I read the blurb about this, I knew that I had to read it but I was not very impressed with this. It's an unpopular opinion and here it goes.

Matilda Pages or lovingly known as Tilly is eleven years old. She lives with her grandparents who own a bookshop called, Pages & Co. Her mother left when she was just a baby and she knows nothing about her father. She doesn't know the reason her mother left and her grandparents told her that her mother just disappeared one day never to return. She loves reading and her favorite characters are Anne from Anne of Green Gables and Alice from Alice in Wonderland. When she finds an old box of her mother's books, strange things start to happen. She starts to see Anne and Alice, her favorite book characters come alive along with some other strange characters. She also finds out that she can actually go inside the books with them.

She tells this to a boy from school, Oskar who doesn't believe at first but when he's also whisked into the book with Tilly comes to believe everything. They both finally confront Tilly's grandparents and the grandparents explain that it is called bookwandering. They also tell her that bookwandering without actually reading the book at the time is a thing unheard of as in Tilly's case and then they explain that Tilly is half-fictional so may be that's the reason Tilly is able to bookwander without physically reading the book. Tilly finds out that her father is none other than the book character from A Little Princess so Sara from A Little Princess is Tilly's half sister.

Tilly and Oskar continue testing Tilly's new abilities and then by accident they stumble upon a different version of A Little Princess. Upon further investigation, they find out that Tilly's mother has been stuck in a different version of A Little Princess and they get her out and they find out that the bad guy is actually a fictional character called, Enoch Chalk. Tilly's mother meets her family and Enoch disappears and Tilly is getting to know her mother now.

A book filled with book magic - I should have loved it but I didn't. First of all, I didn't get into the story until the 100 page mark, I found the pacing to be very odd. Secondly, I didn't really like any of the characters save for Oskar a bit. I liked Oskar and his questions that everyone else was not asking. But my main problem is that nothing is properly explained. Why does bookwandering happen? Bookwandering is the ability to travel inside books and only a few readers can do it; you could say we can read harder than most people. Something tips us over from visiting the books purely inside our imagination to being physically transported there. We still don't know precisely how it happens, and why bookwandering magic affects some people and not others. We think any reader probably has the potential to do it. but perhaps predictably there are very high numbers of booksellers or librarians, as bookwanderers almost always have a very special or particular relationship with books and reading. This is an actual excerpt from the book and this is how the bookwandering is explained or not explained, I should say.

And then there's the matter of Tilly's mother breaking all the rules and stuff and the villain didn't like all the broken rules and he put her in there. I mean I didn't like the villain at all, he was so predictable but I seemed to agree with him. I mean of all the people to agree with, for me to agree with the villain is another sign that I wasn't going to like it as much as I had wanted to. On the predictability, I predicted every single thing pretty early on so that's another reason I didn't like this.

Then there were the grandparents not telling anything to Tilly for eleven long years. This is something I hate in all the middle-grade, YA books where the parents/grandparents keep the MC in dark and I can accept it sometimes if it is explained reasonably but much like anything here, it isn't very convincing.

This book heavily relies on Anne from Anne of Green Gables and Alice from Alice in Wonderland and A Little Princess. I haven't read Anne of Green Gables or A Little Princess but I have read Alice in Wonderland and didn't much like it especially Alice's character in the book and this was no exception here. I can't much say about Anne or Sara but I found Alice's character to be very annoying. This was another reason that I probably didn't enjoy it as much as I had wanted to. There was also not a lot of action in this. There was not much time spent on Oskar either.

Look the story had a lot of potential, it's the execution that was not up to the mark for me. I will read the next in the series and see if I want to continue from there or not.

And I have to take down the rating from three stars to two stars because I just started reading the second book in the series and all the disappoint from reading the first book came down really hard on me and I just can't justify the rating of three stars anymore. Sorry to disappoint anyone but I just had to.

2 stars
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jillian.
79 reviews50 followers
April 28, 2019
Oh I gave this little book 4 stars, it’s a middle grade novel that takes me back to some of my still favorite books to this day , Alice in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, Sherlock Holmes makes an appearance and so does Lizzy from Pride and Prejudice,and most importantly A Little Princess. With the help of Anne and Alice our main character Tilly goes book wondering . She is raised by her grandparents due to her mom being missing , behind a book store they own. The nostalgia of this novel made the read worth it to me . I could just see myself falling in love with this series I have pre ordered the 2nd book already. If you were like me and loved Alice ,Anne , Sara and Dorothy it any of the tales you fell in love with growing up you might love this novel.💕👍🏻👍🏻
Profile Image for Meisha (ALittleReader).
220 reviews57 followers
March 15, 2022
I loved loved LOVED this! Any book lover who appreciates the magic and wonder of books would. Very whimsy and over flowing with magic and adventure. Just an absolutely wonderfully, beautifully magical book that one cant help but love. A terrific book not only for middle graders but for anyone and everyone! :)
Profile Image for Lauren James.
Author 16 books1,440 followers
February 12, 2019
It was so fun spotting all my favourite fictional characters, and it just felt like a big warm hug. Fictional worlds collide in this heartwarming future classic. Anna James has created a world, and bookshop, that I desperately want to live in.
Profile Image for Kerri.
980 reviews351 followers
August 18, 2019
Gosh this was great! Tilly and Oskar are such wonderful characters and it was a real thrill to follow their adventure. The way characters like Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) and Anne (from Anne of Green Gables) are woven in is lovely and touching. The story was clever, fun and often quite unexpected. I'm looking forward to the next one!
Profile Image for Celeste.
908 reviews2,340 followers
April 3, 2019
You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

“Be brave, be curious, be kind.”

I have the most wonderful friends. And those I talk to the most, I’ve never even met in person. There’s a group of us (most of whom now write for the blog we built together, Novel Notions) who talk almost every single day. For the past three years, we’ve sent each other birthday presents and Secret Santa gifts for Christmas. Almost always books, of course. We’ve been there for each other through both extreme hardship and profound joy. Even though I can’t give them a physical shoulder to cry on because of the distance, I know they’re always there for me, and I’m certain they feel the same about me. We love each other, and we share a common passion, the combination of which spawned our wonderful blog. Book friends are the best friends.
“I love thinking about other people reading the books I love, or why someone gave that book as a present - those names and messages are like tiny moments of time travel linking readers from different eras and families and even countries.”

What does that have to do with this book, you might ask? The answer is twofold. First, my book twin (and member of the aforementioned group) saw this book and thought of me, and decided to send it to me as a surprise. She was absolutely spot on, and I loved every page. Second, this is a book about the power of relationships, even those you develop with fictional characters. Can you imagine walking into your favorite room to find your favorite literary character waiting for you in the flesh instead of between the pages of their book? That’s exactly what happens to Matilda Pages, Tilly for short, in the combination home and bookshop where she lives with her grandparents. From there, Tilly embarks on marvelous adventures both inside and outside the pages of books.
“Books can change minds and change worlds, open doors and open minds, and plant seeds that can grow into magical or even terrifying things. Stories are things to be loved and respected at the same time; never underestimate the power of them. It’s why books are often casualties of censorship; those who ban or burn books are those who are scared of what can be found in their pages.”

The thought of bookwandering, as it’s termed in this book, is one that I’m sure has been a daydream of tens of thousands of readers since the creation of the written word. Imagine being able to walk within the pages of your favorite stories, or get to know your favorite characters. It’s a captivating concept, one that has been explored more frequently of late across genres from middle grade to YA to adult fantasy. I enjoyed learning about the rules of bookwandering in this little novel almost as much as I enjoyed seeing how Tilly thwarted those rules, often accidentally. Something that made this book even more special for me is that Tilly and I share a favorite fictional character: Anne of Green Gables. Anne is precocious and imaginative and kind, and I would love to be friends with her, even as an adult. Tilly’s other favorite character, Alice from Wonderland, in not among my favorites, but her addition made the story more interesting. Tilly also makes a friend in reality over the course of the story, in the form of Oskar, and has a beautiful relationship with her grandparents, who are also bookwanderers.
“The books we love when we’re growing up shape us in a special way… The characters in the books we read help up decide who we want to be.”

I don’t want to get into any of the plot details of this story, as I think that would diminish its charm. I will say, however, that you should absolutely gift this to any middle grader in your life who is obsessed with books, or even an adult reader like myself who has never really grown up and is completely infatuated by the written word. Besides being a fun story in its own right, this novel is made even more lovely by being a book about books. Books about books are one of my favorite things in the world, and have a cozy charm rarely found in their less bookish literary counterparts. I would like to thank TS again for giving me such a wonderful and unexpected gift. It’s something I’ll treasure!
��Our stories are how we will be remembered - so we’ve got to make sure they are worth telling.”
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,719 reviews857 followers
October 3, 2021
#2) Tilly & the Lost Fairy Tales ★★★★☆
#3) Tilly & the Map of Stories ★★★☆☆

this book was a warm hug 🥺️🥺️ i wish i could go back in time & give this book to my ten-year-old self who was just like tilly, obsessed with books & reading, adored anne of green gables, and struggled with friendships

Trigger warnings for .

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Profile Image for Melanie (TBR and Beyond).
509 reviews365 followers
April 12, 2019
“Be brave, be curious, be kind.”

Be still my middle-grade literary heart! Tilly and the Bookwanders is such a treasure of a book and what reader doesn't look a book about books? I dare you to try and find out! Impossible!!

This was a book that was on one of my good friend's Christmas wishlist. I had never heard of it, but when I ordered her the book, I might have ordered a second copy for myself and I have zero regrets after reading it. Tilly and The Bookwanders is such a sweet story about a young girl, named Tilly, that lives with her grandparents in a wonderful little family owned bookstore, called Pages & Co. Tilly spends most of her time nose-deep in children's classics such as Anne of Green Gables, The Little Princess and Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland. The characters are precious to her and she's isolated herself at school so badly that the characters in the books are really her only friends. Tilly also is quite lonely and doesn't understand why her mother left her at a young age and what happened to her, her grandparents won't give many details and they don't seem to know what happened to her either. Turns out that one day while Tilly is reading one of her favorite classics, Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland just pops out of her story and from there the real adventures begin.

Tilly and the Bookwanders is a really positive and fun story. Tilly is intelligent, brave, flawed but most importantly she never gives up. Her friendship with another young boy, Oskar really develops into a genuine and fun friendship and I adored seeing them take adventures with different beloved book characters. I don't want to go into detail about how or why Tilly is able to talk to this characters, you'll find that out soon enough if you pick the book up.

One of the things that honestly caught me off guard about this one, was that there was a genuinely interesting mystery happening around her about her mother's whereabouts and where that plot goes is actually such a great twist. I never saw it coming and I thought it was brilliant. There are a lot of family and friendship themes in this story and the grandparents may not be the most generous with giving details about their missing daughter (they are in a lot of pain themselves over it), but they are loving and supportive and doing their absolute best for Tilly. I really appreciate seeing different family units in middle-grade and I appreciate it even more when they are loving and involved, which these grandparents very much are.

Another thing I loved about this book was the setting - a lot of it takes place in a cozy, family owned bookstore. I mean you can imagine it so easy and it makes it that much easier to really get into the story and put yourself in Tilly's space. The ending of this one does leave a lot of unanswered questions and a cliffhanger, but thankfully another book is coming to hopefully shed some light on all of that.

I highly recommend checking out this book. I'm a huge believer that there is no age on any category of book and this has lots to offer all ages. It would be a wonderful book to read as a family and I think children as young as six years old could enjoy this one, with a little help. Also, for the cover buy readers out there - not only is the cover adorable but the actual naked book is BEAUTIFUL. It has drawings all over it and I just love it.
Profile Image for Rachel.
550 reviews879 followers
August 4, 2020
Reading this book was like injecting pure joy straight into my veins. One of the most sincerely delightful reading experiences I've had in a long while.
Profile Image for Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls).
1,597 reviews3,487 followers
January 12, 2021
3 stars.

What a charming story! Not only was it incredibly clean, but there was such a winsome style of writing with the “book magic”. Something similar to a fairytale, but with no spells or curses. I definitely plan on continuing the series and getting my own copy of this book. It was really quite charming and unique—I would think those that do a happy sigh when you walk into a bookstore would enjoy this book as well.

It is said that Tilly's mother left when she was a baby; A few mentions of divorces & parents not being married when they had a child (Anne is scandalized by this information); A mention of witchcraft/sorcery (by a book character); A couple mentions of wine.
Edit to Add: There is a homosexual couple added in the third book.
Profile Image for Laura.
750 reviews270 followers
February 12, 2023
This may be written for 8-12 year olds, but I loved it.

This is a book for people who love books. And for people who read to escape, to fall into another world. For all of us who feel, when we read, that we’ve magically been transported to another time and place, this book is sort of the embodiment of that feeling.

It’s wonderfully imaginative and the first of a series I plan to continue. There are so many interesting things to explore in this world that I’m sure the series will be great!

I don’t want to give anything away but if you enjoy children’s classics and have wanted to or have actually revisited your childhood by reading some of those books, you’ll appreciate this series even more. I’ve read/reread all or most of the books mentioned in here, and being classics, many others will have, as well.

And the audio narration by Aysha Kala was wonderful. I will be looking to see what other books she’s narrated.

Very happy to have discovered this series while reading for a book challenge. Middle grade fantasy is a great way to be swept away, and this is the best example I’ve read since Harry Potter. And this series is also British! Another great reason to read it. 😀🎁

A favorite, and timely, quote: “Books can change minds and change worlds, open doors and open minds, plant seeds that can grow into magical or even terrifying things. Stories are things to be loved and respected at the same time; never underestimate the power of them. It's why books are often casualties of censorship; those who ban or burn books are those who are scared of what can be found among their pages."
Profile Image for Tilly Booth.
181 reviews938 followers
October 2, 2018
This is basically a book about me...sort of...not really. BUT the main character is called Tilly and she loves books!!!

This was such a sweet book and it's one that is perfect for young readers. It's a book about books and I loved everything from the characters to the plot and more.

You follow Tilly who is living with her grandparents after her mother mysteriously disappeared after she was born. Her father was gone before she was born and there isn't much information on him. One day, Tilly finds a box of her mothers old books and suddenly she starts to see characters from books. Alice and Anne also take Tilly into their worlds. Tilly soon learns that she's a bookwanderer and about the rules for doing so. She also realises that there are some mysteries surrounding her mothers disappearance and she takes them upon herself to find out more...

It was just so cute and lovely. A very quick, easy and fun read. It made me wish that I was actually the character in this book.
Profile Image for Alexa.
2,152 reviews11.3k followers
June 17, 2019
Cute middle grade read, though I didn’t wind up as invested in it as I would have liked to be! The world of bookwanderers and their ability was fun, and the literary nods made me smile too.
Profile Image for Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words).
392 reviews956 followers
March 6, 2019
"You know when you walk into a bookshop and you see all those thousands of books lined up in front of you? That intoxicating feeling of knowing that behind each cover is a different world to explore, like thousands of tiny portals? That adrenaline rush just before you open a new book? The thrill of being surrounded by fellow book lovers? That is what fuels bookwandering, and it comes to life in bookshops."

I really loved this warm, cozy, imaginative book. It brings to life every child's fantasy of meeting their favorite book characters and being able to step into the fictional world of their favorite books. I think when I was a kid I even tried to WRITE a version of this story (although not nearly as well and not nearly as fleshed out). It was a delightful bookish romp from start to finish and had so many lovely details that will make any literary heart long to visit the world of this book and the books within it - is that too meta? A cozy, labyrinthine bookshop, warm, lovable characters, some twists and turns (which, admittedly, I could mostly see coming, but they still charmed me), lots of delicious tea and sweets, some literary heroines/heros/villains come to life (Anne Shirley! Sarah Crew! Alice! Long John Silver!), and a mysterious bookish plot. Put this in your stack of books for booklovers, my friends. It was a treat!

I will say that I feel like the end got away a little bit - which is why I'm giving it 4 stars rather than 5. It felt a smidge info-dumpy in the last couple chapters, and some characters came to conclusions without much warning or explanation. But, I don't want that to deter you from reading. It was overall excellent and I loved it!

I am so looking forward to the next books in the series!
Profile Image for Rebecca.
3,608 reviews2,579 followers
October 24, 2018
In this charming middle-grade novel, Matilda Pages literally travels into the children’s books sold at her grandparents’ London bookshop, Pages & Co., including Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. She learns that bookwandering is a magical family tradition with its own strict rules, administered by the staff of the British Underlibrary. As Tilly and her friend Oskar explore the pages of Treasure Island and A Little Princess, which was her departed mother’s favorite book, they learn that the line between what’s real and what’s imaginary isn’t as clear as they always thought, and the blurring of the two can be risky.

You can tell that this was written by someone with a deep love for books, especially bookshops and libraries. A few times this passion is shoehorned in through adult characters’ rhapsodizing (“Books can change minds and change worlds,” a librarian says; “a bookshop is like a map of the world,” Grandad adds), but anyone who picks this up will be of the same mind as James anyway so shouldn’t mind too much. I found the story gripping and the characters – both new and borrowed – believable, and would recommend this to preteens and their parents alike. You certainly don’t have to be a dedicated MG reader to enjoy it. [Full disclosure: I was a volunteer reviewer for Anna when she ran the We Love This Book web magazine.]
Profile Image for Lotte.
548 reviews1,109 followers
August 6, 2019
This is quite different to what I usually read, because it's a) middle grade and b) fantasy, but I'm SO glad I decided to give the audiobook a go! It's such cozy story all about getting lost in books (sometimes quite literary) and celebrating the wonders and unadulterated joy of reading. I loved learning about the world of bookwandering and accompanying Tilly and Oscar on their bookish adventures. I'll definitely listen to the second book in this series when it comes out because I'm actually really curious to see where this goes next.
Profile Image for Elena Robertson.
8 reviews505 followers
October 21, 2018
4.5 stars this was a clever and brilliantly woven story that I think children and adults alike will enjoy... especially if they are avid readers who secretly would love to be Book Wanderers. I will definitely read more when they come out
Profile Image for Gabriela Pop.
726 reviews157 followers
December 26, 2018
While I'm well aware that the actual target audience for this book is middle school aged children, I think it has the potential to appeal for bibliophiles of all ages. I knew I was meant to fall in love with it ever since I first read the story and become even more sure once I heard Anna talk about it at events, but I don't think I ever could have imagined just how much this little book would actually get to me.
While I didn't have much else in common with Tilly besides a love for books and a bit of a sense of lacking direction, I felt like there was something beautifully universal about her story. I never had as much of a connection to the books that she herself did, nor did I even read some of them, but the way everyone in this book talked about books and stories and the things characters in them mean to people was just so painfully beautiful.
I look forward to seeing every other adventure that Tilly and her Bookwanderer friends and family get up to in future books in the series and I can see this becoming an all time fave without a doubt!
Profile Image for Romie.
1,075 reviews1,272 followers
November 2, 2020
“Be brave, be curious, be kind.”

this is truly one of the sweetest things I've ever read. I loved getting to know more about Tilly while being able to see some of my favourite characters (such as Anne and Gilbert)! I'm very excited to continue with the rest of the series! (4.25)
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