Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - review

The first thing, obviously, that catches your attention is the title. It's long, yes, but it's also intriguing and - I think - inviting.

WHO is this girl? Why is she in Fairyland? What did she build her ship out of?

The girl is 12-year-old September, who lives with her mother in Omaha, Nebraska. September's father is off to war, and her mother works in a munitions factory.

When The Green Wind - riding  the Leopard of Little Breezes - appears and asks September if she would like to go to Fairyland, she doesn't hesitate.

Gosh, I liked this. I liked this a lot and I can only imagine how much 10-year-old me would have LOVED this. This would have been the book that I read over and over again, wore a path to its place in the library and discovered Fairyland with September all over again and again.

Reading it now, as an alleged adult, there's still a lot to love. September herself. Her companions in Fairyland. The Green Wind and his smoking jacket.

It's whimisical without tipping over into twee, and Ms Valente handles the whole thing with a delicate touch that never, ever talks down to the reader. Instead she invites you in. She talks to you and you are as drawn into Fairyland as much as September is.

If I had nieces the right age, this is the book I would give them for their birthdays and Christmas.

Absolutely lovely.


  1. Filed under "books to remember in about 5 years to read with my daughter." It is a catching title and I love that SHE is the one who built the ship. So awesome! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

  2. Trish: Yes!!! And there's two sequels too so even more to look forward to :D September is so great :)

  3. Adding to my nieces Christmas list! Awesome review :)

  4. Kim: Yay!! I hope they love it :D