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Falling In

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,823 ratings  ·  317 reviews
B z z z z z z z

The buzzing sound?

Do you hear that?

There it is again.

B z z z z z z z

No? Well, I really shouldn't have asked. Most people can't hear it, anyway. But, if you could, you'd think it sounds like you're teetering on the edge of the universe. That's what Isabelle Bean thinks...and she's not that far from the truth.

B z z z z z z z

You really don't hear that?

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,823 ratings  ·  317 reviews

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Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Isabelle Bean is a quirky middle schooler that is pretty much in her own world. On her way to the principal's office, she opens the door and then literally falls into this fantasy world. In this world the children are running from a witch and they fear perhaps Isabelle could be THE witch. What is even scarier is the fact that this witch eats children. Instead of running from this witch like the other children, she decides to find said witch. After all, Isabelle is convinced that she is a changel ...more
Sep 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
probably will get this one confused with the Lost Children book that I just recently read (also about falling into another world with unfortunate children), but it was definitely different. I actually loved the writing in this one--very non-traditional (the author tends to jump in at times and just talk as herself) chapter 16 starts out, "As i write this, there's a spider on my wall, and it's tempting to reach out and smash it." and ends, "Go in peace, little brown spider. You're welcome here." ...more
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A fun quirky and inventive fantasy for elementary and middle school readers. While different in tone than Kate DiCamillo's Tale of Desperaux, the author's direct aside to readers creates a similar feel. Readers who enjoyed the story of an undersized mouse with big dreams will likely enjoy the story of Isabelle Bean, a young girl with a big imagination and a touch of "otherworldliness." A girl who doesn't quite fit in-who is quiet but not shy, who talks in riddles but isn't rude.

Isabelle Bean is
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
You know when you feel like you just don't belong? Or have you ever wished/pretended/hoped you were actually from another place or land or family? That's kind of what Isabelle feels in this book. She just doesn't belong and one day she falls into another world and her hopes are confirmed.

Actually turned out to be pretty decent. Even though I could see many of the twists coming it is clearly written for a young audience so I can forgive that. I didn't connect to Isabelle though. I felt more for
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: children, audiobooks
This is definitely a Juvenile book that should be read by tweens or to tweens... As an adult, I found the book to be cute, but underwelming. My daughter enjoyed the story and the other world was interesting. Really, the biggest positive about this book is the lesson that can be taught about judging someone without getting to know them.
(view spoiler)
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-elem-mg, vine
Isabelle Bean is one of those girls who seems to be in her own little world. She's in sixth grade and has no real friends as the other girls find her a bit odd. So, she's not entirely surprised when she opens a closet and falls through into another world, kind of like Alice, but without all the annoying characters. In the other world she finds all the children on the run from a witch. But instead of joining them on their trek to the safe camps, she sets out to find the witch. After all, what cou ...more
Eva Mitnick
Jul 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children
This is a curious hybrid of a fantasy. It's part modern-girl-visits-fairytale-world, a la the Narnia books or Alice in Wonderland, and it's part a rustic witch-and-woods fairytale. The plot and magical happenings are quite humble and old-fashioned, with some herbal lore, a magical book, and a bit of low-grade mind reading, and yet the tone is quite modern, with the narrator addressing the reader directly in breezy, colloquial language. Here's an example:
"Here's the deal: One day a beautiful, per
I couldn't tell you the main plot. After 86 pages, we still weren't there and I was starting to grow restless. I couldn't get behind Isabella, even though I myself was not often picked until last for gym class and had a penchant for wearing accessories I believed to be quirky and adorable. I didn't like that the narrator would break world-building in order to say nonsensical things that were later repeated, such as the traveling nature of spiders. I know some of the other Cybils panelists had ha ...more
May 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I really liked how the story opens with "On the morning this story begins..." For me, it captures how fairy tales begin. The author goes on to introduce Isabelle Bean, "an only child of a lonely family." Isabelle is considered by most to be dull, different and is somewhat of an outcast in her class. Instead she is the girl who likes to wear red boots stuffed with toilet paper because she thinks they complete her. She talks in riddles and only when spoken to. Most of all she is a dreamer of thing ...more
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This one is a fast fun read about Isabelle Bean, a girl that just does not fit in. When she follows a squeaking sound she falls into another world. There she finds that children are sent away because there is a wicked witch that comes after them once a year. Isabelle seems strange even here and many of the children she meets think she is a witch. However, one girl, Hen goes with her to find the witch. Hen wants retribution for the years of suffering while Isabelle thinks it would be interesting ...more
One day loner Isabelle Bean follows a buzzing sound in her school to a closet, where she falls into another world. Immeadiately accused of witchcraft she is befriended by a sturdy girl named Hen and sets off to encounter an old witch woman. Isabelle has often wondered why she is the way she is. What will being in another world prove about her?

It was fun. It was quick. I had a hard time focusing on it because sometimes the middle grade books are just too...well... middle grade for me. But there w
Suzy Cooksey
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
My eleven year old daughter brought this book home from the library and I had just finished reading a book so picked it up. I read it in a couple of short sittings and really had to push through the first 1/3 or so of it before I really got into it. Isabelle Beane is a girl who just doesn't quite fit in...until she falls in...into a world that believes in witches, fairies and magic. She meets a group of children who actually become her friends, and learns about herself and her mother. I'm going ...more
Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
One Sentence Review: Dowell comes as close as she ever has doing fantasy and the result is a rather lovely reinterpretation of witch-related fairy tales.
Quinn Lei
Jan 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
We started listening to this book and we did not like it it was not moving along fast enough for us. The narrator was not great and the storyline did not make sense. So we decided to not finish it.
Valerie McEnroe
I love Dowell's ability to create amazing characters with a full-bodied voice. True to form, she does it in this one. Her characters may as well be real people with their well-crafted dialect and dialogue. I just wish this book had a faster moving plot. It's rather dull.

Isabelle Bean has always been a little "off." No one "gets" her. She irritates both kids and adults. In fact, she suspects she might be a changeling. One day, while waiting to see the principal, she opens a closet door and falls
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This middle grade delivered fun, magic, and surprise! At first the intermittent narrator chapters seemed a bit distracting, but I love how it came together. The story is about a girl who never felt like she belonged. All the other children avoided her and made fun of her, but she didn't mind being by herself. When she falls into another world, she learns of an evil witch that eats the children there, and finds a friend to journey with. But the thing is, she wants to go to the witch, not run away ...more
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tween-novel, fantasy
Really, really good and a great story! Some fairly dark aspects that I wasn't expecting (it reads light hearted and then BAM!) but I rather liked that style. I would hesitate to give this to a young tween who might be freaked out by the darkness. In other words, know your audience.

All in all though, I highly recommend.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun novel that ultimately teaches us to appreciate what we have even if we miss what we had. It is sweet and poignant and creative.
Isabelle learns who she is and what she can do, so she doesn’t need to daydream about what could be. Hen and Sam and Quinn and Elizabeth and Jacob and Dreama all learn something important too.
This was heart warming and fun. Just what I needed right now.
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Isabelle Bean is a daydreamer. She is a 6th grader who doesn't fit in with the other kids, wishes the teachers would assign more interesting things, believes in magic, and hopes things will get better. When she hears a squeak coming from somewhere in the nurse's office and opens the closet door to investigate, Isabelle falls into a world where she feels much more at home.
Melinda Green
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun has a fairy tale feel to the book. It is about a girl who just doesn't quite fit into her world. She is given purpose elsewhere. She is able to become others focused. And as most fairy tales it ends happily ever after.
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book overall, it's a good one for children to read that lose sight of their imagination. But I found the book hard to keep up as an adult (I'm an elementary ed major), it would probably be easier for children to read because its more in their language.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was a good book if you really like fairy tales but it was hard to keep up with.
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Listen to this in the car with my 10 yr old and 4 yr old and husband. Everyone enjoy it!
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun book!
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audio-read
I chose this audio book because of others by the same reader. The telling was good but the story was too juvenile for me to really get into.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A delightful fantasy.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: upper-elementary
A nice fairy tale adventure. Funny asides by the author every other chapter. Loved the short chapter structure. Sweet. Not particularly gripping or memorable, but nice.
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really like the whole story. I wish the ending had a little more closure. Other than that, an overall good story. I give it 4.5 stars.
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While Frances O'Roark Dowell (Dovey Coe, The Secret Language of Girls, Trouble the Water) is best known for her award-winning novels, she also hosts the popular "Off-Kilter Quilt" podcast, where she talks about her latest quilt projects with friends and fellow quilters around the globe. Her own little corner of the globe is Durham, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and a ...more

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“What filled the rooms of Grete's cottage so decidedly were woven baskets and wooden boxes and clay pots glazed in red and blue, each with its own mishmash of this and that. Roots and leaves still redolent of dirt. Balls of scratchy wool-purple twining into pink easing into periwinkle fading into gray. At least three boxes held squares and strips of fabric, all colors, and eight pots overflowed with apples.
The walls were lined with shelves, the shelves were lined with books. Wordless spines peered out. As soon as Isabelle saw them, she itched to open it up and read it from cover to cover.”
“Perhaps you'll apprentice to a healer when you're older," Grete suggested. "I'd say you have the gift for it."
Hen reddened, then seemed suddenly fascinated with a speck on her shoe. "Be nice to have a gift for something," she said after a moment. "But they don't let girls apprentice, now, do they?"
Grete harrumphed. "A bunch of fools, the lot who came up with that system. You lose half the world's brainpower that way.”
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