The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1)
by Chris Colfer
Hardcover, 438 pages
Published July 17, 2012
by Little, Brown Young Readers
Book Source: ALA
Summary from goodreads: Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairytales.
The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.
But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
Cathy’s Review: Alex and Conner Bailey are 11 year-old twins. They have been in the same class in school since kindergarten. Alex is the smart one who always knows all the answers and Conner is the joker who sits in the back of the class and doesn’t really understand the class work. Their class, under the direction of their teacher Mrs. Peters, has been learning about fairy tales. Neither Alex or Conner really need to learn anything new about fairy tales, because when they were young they would go to their grandmother’s cottage with their parents and their dad and grandmother would read them fairy tales late into the night. Unfortunately, their dad died on their 11th birthday, nearly a year ago. The twins know not to expect too much for their 12th birthday, things are tight for their working single mother, but they are surprised by a visit from their grandmother. She gives them their gifts and then as a special surprise she gives them the book of fairy tales that she had read to them when they were small. Alex is thrilled with the gift and quickly takes it to her room when she goes to bed, but realizes quickly that the book won’t let her sleep, it insists on humming and glowing off and on all night and the next several nights. Conner’s not sure what’s up with Alex, she’s acting strange, he finds out about the book a few days later at school. When the book interrupts their class, Alex knows that she needs to find out why it glows and hums. She goes home, opens it and sticks her hand inside and ends up toppling head first into the book. Conner follows and they realize that they are in a beautiful fairy tale world, a place that they both had only dreamed about before. The fairy tale world is a dangerous place though, filled with witches, wolves, goblins and trolls. They know that they need to return home to their mom, but just how are they going to manage that?
I was sucked into this story from the prologue, the story itself is engaging, full of action and adventure and just plain fun. Who doesn’t want to meet such characters as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel? I really enjoyed Alex and Conner, I felt sad for them for having lost their dad at such a young age and then worried for them as they navigated the dangerous Land of Stories. This was a fun book!
Content: One mild swear word that I noticed.
About the author: Chris Colfer is an American actor and singer, known for his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on the television series Glee. “The Wishing Spell” is his first novel for children. Learn more about author Chris Colfer: goodreads/ Twitter/ Website