2016 Book Reviews

Sorry, been a crazy, crazy Fall/Winter, and I may just have to give up on this blog thing. However, for now, here are the 2016 reviews that I wrote for my library’s website, and one bonus 2017 review that hasn’t been published yet–I know, such a gift 😉

As a 2nd bonus, the ones I absolutely, 100% recommend unreservedly from a personal perspective are asterisked–I read a lot of books that I don’t love, but I know someone will.

Children’s Titles

*Clover’s Luck, by Caillie George

Despite her name, Clover has always felt decidedly unlucky. So when she stumbles upon a mysterious cottage in the Woods, she can hardly believe her good fortune. It’s the Magical Animal Adoption Agency, and it houses creatures of all kinds. Fairy horses, unicorns, and a fiery young dragon are just the beginning! Mr. Jams, the Agency’s owner, agrees to hire her as summer helper and Clover hopes her luck has finally changed. But when she’s left alone to care for the Agency, a sneaky witch comes after the magical creatures! Will Clover outsmart her in time to protect the animals?

Ramona Forever, by Beverley Cleary

Did you know that Beverly Cleary turned 100 years old in April? So it’s the perfect time to read her books! In Ramona Forever, Ramona is in grade 3, and starting to feel more grown-up. She and Beezus still stay with Howie Kemp’s grandmother till their parents get home, but now that Beezus is almost a teenager, the girls convince their parents that they can be at home alone after school instead of going to the Kemps. That’s only the first of the many big changes coming to the Quimby family, but while things get different with weddings, funerals and new babies, there’s one thing you can always count on, which is Ramona being Ramona forever!

*Catwings, by Ursula K. Le Guin

Mrs. Jane Tabby can’t imagine why her kittens were born with wings. Cats don’t have wings! But Thelma, Harriet, James and Roger do, and soon it becomes clear that cats with wings can’t live underneath a dumpster the way ordinary cats can. Fortunately, cats with wings can fly, so the Catwings fly away, till they reach the country, where things are very different, and where maybe James, Harriet, Roger and Thelma can find a place where they belong.

YA Titles

The Dogs, by Alan Stratton

Cameron and his mom have been running away for years. Cameron never knows if he’ll come home from his new school to find his mom in the car, all ready to move to a new town in another part of North America. Cameron’s dad is looking for them, and Cameron’s mom knows he mustn’t find them. Cameron isn’t sure though. Was his dad really that bad? Then they move to a remote haunted house in the Prairies, and as Cameron unravels the mystery of what happened to the boy whose ghost haunts the property, he starts on a terrifying path that may end in his becoming the second ghost to haunt the house. This is an atmospheric, frightening, and gripping Canadian title.

Trouble is a Friend of Mine, by Stephanie Tromley

Zoe has just moved to a new town, and somehow she’s already acquired a friend, Digby. The only thing is, she doesn’t want to be Digby’s friend. Somehow, though, she ends up helping Digby investigate a mysterious disappearance eight years ago, an investigation which includes a lot of things Zoe would never in a million years have done before she met Digby, including a lot of things that aren’t exactly legal. Is Digby crazy? Or could he be a hero? One thing for sure, Zoe’s life will never be the same, no matter which it is.

The Kiss of Deception, by Mary Pearson

Lia is a princess on the run from an arranged marriage. After her escape, she gets a job as a barmaid in a seaside tavern and enjoys life as a nobody greatly. When two young men, Kaden and Rafe arrive in town, she finds herself taken with both of them. What she doesn’t know? One of them is the prince she was supposed to marry, the other an assassin hired to kill her. The thrilling and romantic first book of a planned trilogy, the Remnant Chronicles.

*You Know Me Well, by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Mark and Kate are classmates, but they’ve never spoken. Until they meet at a gay club during San Francisco Pride, where Mark and his best friend (and secret crush) Ryan, are celebrating their first Pride, and where Ryan seems to be getting on very well with another boy. Kate, on the other hand, is running away from a meeting with the girl she’s wanted to meet forever. Their friendship is sudden, but everyone needs a friend in time of trouble, and for now, Mark and Kate are exactly what each other needs.

Dumplin’, by Julie Murphy

Willowdean Dixon knows she’s fat, and that other people are made uncomfortable by that. But she isn’t. She knows who you are is more important than what you weigh. Unfortunately, in Clover City, Texas, home of the oldest beauty pageant in Texas, it can feel like people don’t know that fat doesn’t matter. Especially when your mother is a former beauty queen, and runs the annual pageant. But Willowdean does her best to ignore that, and lives her life, going to school, hanging out with her best friend, and working at a burger joint with her crush, Bo. But then Bo and Willowdean kiss, and she finds herself suddenly uncomfortable with her size. Willowdean has always had plenty to deal with, and now is no different, but she’s never felt uncomfortable with herself before. Can she find a way to make peace with herself, get the guy, and still be the fabulous person she is?

*Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo

Six messed up but super talented, outcast kids, members of The Dregs, a criminal organization. One giant mission: to rescue a prisoner from the world’s most secure prison. And maybe save the world, too. This is an incredible, cliff-hanger of an adventure/fantasy/mystery crossover, and you should not miss it! The sequel, Crooked Kingdom, is out and is a worthy successor.

And the bonus review!

inquisitor

*The Inquisitor’s Tale, by Adam Gidwitz

The story of three possibly miraculous children and their saintly dog, told by many people assembled in an inn, all of who have met the children, and seen the miracles they perform. But are they miracles, or tricks and lies, or something evil? No one is quite sure: Jeanne the peasant girl who sees visions, William, a hugely strong monk-in-training who’s the child of an African woman and a European crusader, and Jacob, a Jewish boy who seems to have healing powers seem an unlikely group of saints, to say nothing of the dog, Gwenforte, who is rumoured to have returned from the dead to look after Jeanne, seem an unlikely group to have miraculous powers of good.

This is a beautifully illustrated tale of medieval times in France, of truth and lies, of three brave children, their dog, and a (bonus!) farting dragon.

 

Summer Round Up

It’s been an insane summer, more programs and more kids than ever, and so I haven’t been able to even think about posting. However, school begins in two weeks, and so things are winding down, so here’s a quicky “What’s been happening in my library this summer” post!

TD Summer Reading Club: of course, the must-do for Canadian public libraries (at least in Ontario, I know some provinces offer alternatives). I think I posted about it last summer, here, so I won’t again, but once again we are offering an alternative Activity Path (as opposed to the read-books-and-get-prizes model of the Reading Path, aka the typical TD Summer Reading Club), and it was more popular than last year, I think (stats not in yet), partly because I made it easier this year, and partly because more people knew about it, and I really encourage my staff to talk it up. It’s most popular for kids who finish the Reading Path first and early, so need something else for the rest of the summer, but also good for kids for whom reading is not so much fun.

Wonderworks: borrowed wholesale from the wonderful Library Makers blog from Madison (WI) Public Library. I chose four of the posted programs, made a few adjustments, and have run it as an August drop-in special. I won’t say attendance has been awesome (but it’s August in a very cottage-owning town), but those who have come have really enjoyed it. So far we’ve done Sorting, Velcro, Chains, and we’ll end with Blocks and Playdough this week. I’d love to run it during to school year, but I just haven’t got a time and place.

What Wednesdays: designed to occupy our summer programming student and to fill a need, this was an hour every Wednesday morning during the summer when anyone 6-11 years could come in and explore something: animals one week, games another, colour another, and so on. We had six to ten activities each week, and kids could explore them as they wanted. It turned out really well, mainly thanks to our brilliant summer student (and former library page).

Sew Crazy: I already posted about this here, but once again it was very popular. I did downsize it to about eight kids, which was so much better.

Preschool Gym: a rerun from last summer, and a good one. We have a few articles of gym-type equipment: a pop-up tunnel, a balance board, a rainbow gym mat, and a bean bag toss game. We put those out, plus a few other things–this year we had ‘soccer’ balls to kick into a cardboard box goal, a tape balance beam and math hopscotch. Very, very popular, I think we have 70-odd people show up–way too many for the program room, but they worked that out fast, and some people left so it was more manageable.

That’s not all, but it’s the more exciting free things that I had some involvement in, and I highly recommend any or all!

 

 

Sew Crazy

I recently ran a fun sewing program for kids at the library, called of course, Sew Crazy! Here’s how it worked:

This was a registered program, I did it once before as a drop-in, but it was too much, it works much better as a registered thing. I registered 15 kids, but only 12 showed, and that was still too many for one seamstress, given that 10 of them had never even seen a needle. I think I’ll register 12 next time, and hopefully have 8-10 show up.

Our project was making a small purse/pencil case from a piece of felt. Total cost for this program was less than $20, which involved a piece of felt, a small spool of thread and a needle for each kid, and they could take it all home to practice further sewing. I supplemented those with sequins, beads and buttons from our huge stash.

To prepare: thread a lot of needles, double thread, with a good thick knot at the end. Do at least five more than you have kids.

Project: each child gets a piece of felt and a threaded needle. Have them orient the felt with the short sides at top and bottom, like this:

Sew 1

Then fold the bottom up, leaving a flap of about 5 cm (2 inches) at the top.

Sew2

 

The folded part is the bag, and the top part will fold down to make a sort of envelope bag.

Have the kids sew up both sides of the fold (I usually have them use an ordinary up and down stitch, so they learn that, but whip stitch looks nicer, if you have more advanced sewers).

Have them pick a button, and sew it on (they will initially need a lot of help finding the holes), here:

Sew3

 

Then help them cut a slit in the upper part, as a buttonhole, to close the bag.

Then, let them go crazy with decorating! If you’re nice, have glue to add sequins and stuff, if you aren’t, make them sew them on (I did the latter–they learned more techniques that way!) Fabric paint or markers are a nice addition as well.

I did this for ages 7-12, which was a good range, and invited the kids to bring adults with sewing skills along–I got one grandmother, and her granddaughter was very lucky to get so much individual attention!

For kids who already knew how to sew, I had some random fabric scraps (donated) out, and almost everyone was doing things with that by the end of the program.

It was a surprisingly popular program (with a waiting list of almost half the registered number, which is very rare for us for this kind of program), and it’s something I feel good about teaching. Yes, we need more people to learn computer coding, but not everyone will grow up to be a coder, yet everyone will grow up to wear things with buttons and hems that need an occasional, easy repair, and it would be nice if everyone, coders too, could learn to do that. I know people who take things to a tailor to have a button sewn on, and that’s ridiculous! Everyone can learn to sew a button on, and this is my way of helping make sure at least a few kids learn (and clearly their parents are very enthusiastic about this).

 

So busy…but here are some picture books!

Things are crazy at work (everyone’s sick, including me), but here’s a couple excellent new/recent picture books!

GardenerThe Night Gardener, by the Fan Brothers.
This picture book is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in ages. I don’t buy many new picture books (no kids of my own and I can get most of the books I need at work), but I am totally buying this. It’s a touch creepy, I guess, but it is SO beautiful! You need to read it.

 

 

Pea

The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas, by Tony Wilson, pictures by Sue deGennaro.
Prince Henrik’s older brother found his princess by placing a pea under a pile of mattresses, but Prince Henrik finds his sister-in-law kind of ridiculous. He wants a princess who isn’t so sensitive, one who will play hockey and go camping. So he tries putting a packet of frozen peas under one mattress, and all the princesses whine and complain and get bruised–until his old friend Pippa shows up for a sleepover. A charming and funny happily-ever-after story for those of us who wouldn’t notice a pea under a pile of mattresses!

 

Excellent Canadian Children’s and Teen Books of 2015

Some 2015 Children’s and Teen books that I really liked. Neither complete nor based on anything other than the fact that I liked them a lot.

Pocket FullAnderson, R.J. A Pocket Full of Murder. Charming, steampunk-ish mystery/fantasy. Fantastic strong female character, the only thing I didn’t like is that the language of the invented world is a bit clunky at times. (Children’s, ages 10+).

PrincessBeaton, Kate. The Princess and the Pony. Go and get this hilarious and delightful picture book about a Viking princess who’s trying to stop getting crappy princessy presents and wants some real Vikingy presents right now! (and while you’re at it–if you’re an adult–save yourself some time and buy Kate Beaton’s books of cartoons, because you want to read them) (Children’s, ages 4+)

HenryBradley, Sandra. Henry Holton Takes the Ice. Henry Holton’s family is all hockey-mad, and Henry loves to skate, but somehow hockey just doesn’t feel right. A sweet, funny book emphasizing that there are other things to do with skates than play hockey (a lesson many Canadians may need). (Children’s, ages 4+).

Prairie fireE.K. Johnston. Prairie Fire. Sequel to The Story of Owen (a Excellent Canadian teen book of 2014). Fantastic, heartbreaking, will make you want to strangle the author AND worship at her shrine. Oh lord it’s good (but be prepared to stay up all night weeping). (Teen, ages 14+)

Thousand Nights—. A Thousand Nights. You know you want to read this fantastic and mysterious retelling of the 1001 Arabian Nights–not the 1001 stories, but the linking story of the girl who tells stories in order to save her life. This one will merely make you want to worship at Johnston’s shrine, not strangle her. (Teen, ages 12+)

TruthJuby, Susan. The Truth Commission. A funny but powerful story about three friends at an arty high school and their attempt to allow their classmates and teachers to experience the freeing power of the truth (and how everything goes wrong). (Teen, ages 12+)

NestOppel, Kenneth. The Nest. Absolutely fantastic and horrifyingly creepy. Do not read this right before bed, it may lead to terrifying dreams. Prepare yourself if you have a deep fear of wasps. (Children’s, ages 10+)

 

TroubleTromley, Stephanie. Trouble is a Friend of Mine. Oh my this is funny! Absolutely read this if you think teen books about serious things are always depressing, because this is, and it isn’t. Don’t give up if you read a hundred pages and go “meh”; I did too, but I promise it’s worth persevering! (Teen, ages 12+)

A Brief Fall Quiet Time

School started yesterday, the Summer Reading Club ended this past Saturday, so we have a temporarily quiet respite here in children’s services. The first week of school tends to be quiet for us no matter what else we do, since most kids and their families are more worried about getting settled in school than what to read next, and it’s a little early for assignments requiring lots of reading.

What’s next? Well, Fall preschool programs start next week, that’s all our registered story times, and school-age one-time programs start happening in about two weeks, when the newness of school has worn off a bit. Right now we’re all tidying our desks and counting the summer reading stats, as well as doing any final prep for next week’s programs.

It’s going to be a busy Fall, with more programs than we’ve ever run in one season here (to my knowledge anyway, and that includes the input of people who have worked here for more than thirty years). We’re doing a bunch of 3D Printing for Kids programs, since the one I ran in the Spring was an insane hit (not a good program–too many people, but a huge one for the content). We’re also starting this library’s first ever weekly story time. Previously all our story times have been in 2-4 week registered sessions, or once or twice a month drop-ins. Getting a weekly story time is something I’ve been trying to do since I started (since it’s so much better for families if they can just know it’s always happening if they want to come), but it’s been a long time coming, thanks to various factors. I’m guessing it’s going to be a huge hit which may change how we do all our other story times.

I’ve just been going through our Summer Reading survey, we asked older kids (7 or 8 and up) or parents to answer two questions and provide any other feedback about the program, and it’s really nice to read all the feedback. 63% said they read more this summer because of Summer Reading, and everyone said they enjoyed the program. Lots of comments said how much the program encouraged reading and how nice the staff were, which is such a shot in the arm for all of us–and provides us with tons lovely quotes for budget presentations and so on all year.

The appalling heat of the past few days is finally starting to break, and I (being one of those weird people who loves Fall, even if it means winter is up next) am very pleased–no air conditioning at home is not fun when it’s 32-36 degrees (C) outside!

Summer Reading

So, like other children’s librarians everywhere, I have been insanely busy with the summer reading program. We’ve still got almost a month to go, so no end in sight, but it’s going well–our file boxes of cards for registered kids are more full than ever, so we’re hopefully well up from last year. What are we doing? Well, we do our normal thing, kids register, read books in threes, tell us about one of each three, and get a little prize. It’s good, it seems to work well for most of our kids, but we’ve always got a few non-readers or crazy readers who finish in the first week (finishing is twelve books). So this year, inspired by many fine blog posts from libraries about their redesign last summer, we added this:

SRC

We call it the Activity Path (and the usual model is the Reading Path). Kids can do it instead of or as well as the Reading Path, but we prefer that they not take both at the same time–start one, do a level, than start the other. If you’re going to be away all summer we’re happy to give you both, but if you’re coming back every week, we’d rather one at a time.

The Activity Path is somewhat popular as an alternative to the Reading Path, and very popular indeed after the Reading Path has been completed. I suspected that we were maybe losing people because reading twelve books was too little, and I think I was right. The Activity Path requires more actual work, if you’re a serious reader, because for pretty much everything you do have to do something; even if it’s reading, you mostly have to do something with your reading afterwards, like read a science book and then do an experiment based on the book–kids who are hoping to do it all in the library in one afternoon are disappointed, and I’m okay with that. Everything shouldn’t be easy 🙂

We also have this adorable summer reading video, made by a design intern we had in the spring, and we have a 3D printed model of the mascot, who’s name (we had a contest) is Mr. Bruce Sparkington!

So yeah, work is really busy (because guess where the kids go if they aren’t in school/camp/on vacation), but pretty good. And I’m going on vacation soon!

The everyday life of a children’s librarian

Something a lot of people wonder about libraries is what on earth library staff members do; I mean, all there is to do is check out books, right? Well, no (this is akin to people thinking that my mother, who’s a priest, does nothing but show up to church on Sunday and preach). And actually, checking out books is not part of the duties of post librarians who work in mid-size to large libraries–it’s a different story in a small library. So what do we do all day? Well, different things. One of the lovely things about being a librarian is that no day is exactly like any other, and most days are full of many different things to do. So here’s a Friday a few weeks back, just in case you’ve ever wondered what we do!

9:00: arrive.
9:05-9:10: participate in staff circle time, where we share what’s going on that others might need to know about.
9:15-9:30: pack props and select books for outreach I’m doing later.
9:30-10:00: answer email, make sure I’m on top of my phone messages, talk with colleagues about CAD training we’re running later this month.
10:00-10:20: Go through a publishers catalogue to make sure we have all the new, hot books on order already (and we do; I rock!)
10:20-10:35: Coffee break
10:35-11:00: Drive to my outreach, to the children’s classes at the Welcome Immigrant Centre (to those of you who are not Canadians, this is a federally-funded centre which offers language classes, job search help, recreational classes and many other kinds of help to newly arrived immigrants, and also child care so that the parents can take the classes and so on)
11:00-11:45: Storytime with a class of 8 children, none of whom have been in North America for more than six months; they are awesome, and it’s truly delightful to share “The Wheels on the Bus” or some other well-worn classic with someone who has never heard it before.
11:45-1:00: Lunch and travel back to the library (and spend ten minutes finding a legal parking spot!)
1:00-3:00: on the Children’s and YA Info desk, giving help to anyone who needs it, reading professional journals and blogs and planning my summer programs if no one needs help.
3:00: Off to our program room, where I will plug in our 3D printer and start printing off some sample items for an upcoming program, then go through the craft supplies and see what we need that we don’t have for summer programs.                                           3:30: Meet with manager to discuss various things.
4:15: Afternoon break
4:30: Read local papers (part of my job duties) to keep on top of local issues.
4:45: Make sure the staff who are closing are doing okay–sometimes it needs lots of people to get everyone out on time!
5:00: Head home.

My exciting new fantasy booklist

We’re redoing the booklists at my library, and finally my manager had the sense to assign me the fantasy and sci-fi ones (in both genres I am the queen of readers’ advisors for middle grade/middle school/YA). So I’m going to cheat and share my fantasy list, because it’s really so awesome (IMHO, at least).

Alexander, William. Goblin Secrets

Rownie is the youngest child among Graba’s stray children. Graba is a witch with mechanical chicken legs, and she uses the children to run errands for her. Rownie is stray because his older brother, Rowan, disappeared after performing in a play. Acting is illegal in Zombay, unless you’re a goblin, one of the Changed, because acting changes who you are, as the Change does. Rownie sees a goblin play while on an errand for Graba, and finds himself on stage, as a giant who turns into a bird. When the goblins promise to teach him their secrets and help him find Rowan, he leaves Graba and her strays behind, and starts a quest to discover Rowan and the secrets that lie in the heart of Zombay.

Fforde, Jasper. The Last Dragonslayer

In the old days, magic was freely available, magic users (wizards, sorcerers, soothsayers, etc.) could do spells without even thinking about it, and everyone used all the magic they liked, any time they liked. Until the magic started draining away, no one knows why. Now magic is strictly regulated, and can only be used if you’ve received the proper approvals. Jennifer Strange works for Kazam, an employment agency for magic users. Need a Soothsayer or a Magic Carpeteer? Call Kazam. But strange things are happening at Kazam and in the world around them. The soothsayers are predicting strange things, and even people who don’t usually see visions are seeing them, and all of them make it clear that something big will happen soon, something involving Jennifer and lots of Big Magic, magic of a kind for which you definitely can’t get approval!

Goodman, Alison. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Eon has a secret. On the surface, Eon is a twelve-year-old boy with a limp who can see the Imperial Dragons and who therefore, limp or not, can enter the contest to become a Dragoneye, apprentice to the human embodiment of one of the twelve dragons, and one of the most powerful men in the empire. But what no one must ever know is that Eon is actually a sixteen year old girl, not a twelve year old boy. There are no female Dragoneyes, but nothing can change the fact that Eon sees the twelve dragons better than anyone else, so she must enter the contest as a boy. Magic is uncertain, perhaps Eon can be chosen, girl or not. If she isn’t, certainly there’s not much to look forward to in life as a servant girl with a limp.

Grove, S.E. The Glass Sentence

Almost a 100 year ago, the Great Disruption occurred. The world, which in 1799 had all been moving along normally, suddenly broke apart, and now countries and even entire continents are moving in different times. You might find yourself among the dinosaurs in one country, only to encounter the year 3005 in the next. Sophia Tims comes from a family of renowned explorers and cartologers (map-makers of the post-Disruption world), and so knows these difficulties well, especially since her parents disappeared on their travels between worlds and times. Now she lives in Boston, with her uncle Shadrack, the most famous Cartologer of them all. Unfortunately, someone sinister seems to need a cartologer, and that someone has kidnapped Uncle Shadrack. Now with only the help of Theo, another child, a refugee from the West, Sophia must try to rescue her uncle and save the world from the power of the Glass Sentence.

Haskell, Merrie. The Princess Curse

Reveka, a herbalist’s apprentic,  is drawn into a mystery which involves twelve princesses, a charming and unsettling stranger, and a dying land. Can she save the princesses, the land and live happily ever after? Only if she can break the mysterious curse that lies on the land and the stranger, and that could take everything she values from her, and still not allow her to win. A wonderful mix of fairy tales and myths with a fabulous heroine and an excellent romance.

Ibbotson, Eva. The Secret of Platform 13

Platform 13 is an ordinary train platform in King’s Cross station, London, England. Or is it? Actually, it’s a long-forgotten doorway to a long lost magical land. And if you encounter it on the one day in every nine years when it opens, you might meet a wizard, an ogre, a witch and a fairy who have come looking for a young prince, who was stolen the last time the gateway was open. Unfortunately, since then, the prince seems to have become a horrible brat named Raymond, and it’s going to take all the magic this quartet can call on to take him back to the lost island and make him behave like a fairy tale prince!

Meloy, Colin. Wildwood

Prue (Prudence) McKeel is an ordinary kid with an ordinary life. Until her baby brother is kidnapped by a crow and carried off to the Impassable Wilderness that surrounds Portland, Oregon. The worst thing? It’s kind of Prue’s fault. So of course Prue sets off to rescue her brother, with the help of a boy named Curtis. What they find in the Impassable Wilderness is impossibly wild: magic both good and bad, talking animals both friendly and not, and some very exciting bandits. A fabulous, scary, intriguing adventure! Book 1 of an excellent trilogy.

Nimmo, Jenny. Midnight for Charlie Bone

Charlie Bone is a normal kid, except that he isn’t. He comes from a long line of magicians, and when his father’s family discover that Charlie has magic of his own, they send him to Bloor’s Academy, a school for wealthy smart people, but also for magicians in training. Suddenly appearing at a wealthy genius school when everyone knows you’re poor and thinks you’re stupid isn’t easy, but mysterious voices are telling Charlie that he has a quest to fulfill, and so clearly the only thing to do is ignore everyone and get on with learning magic so he can complete the quest. Book one in a fabulous eight book series that is the perfect thing to read if you couldn’t get enough of Harry Potter.

Pratchett, Terry. A Hat Full of Sky

Tiffany Aching is a witch, or at least she will be when she’s been trained. Unfortunately, the nasty things that lie in wait for girls who have untrained power aren’t going to wait. When one of them takes over Tiffany’s body, she’s very much left out in the cold, and it isn’t clear that even with the help of some real witches and Tiffany’s notorious but loyal friends, the Nac Mac Feegle (little blue fairies with Scottish accents who love fighting and stealing), that Tiffany will ever get herself back.

Valente, Catherynne M. The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making

When the Green Wind comes and offers to carry September (a girl from Omaha) to the gates of Fairyland, of course September says yes (wouldn’t you?). Whatever September expected (and she isn’t sure what that was) Fairyland isn’t it. Fairyland has rules and regulations, forms that must be filled out, and procedures that must be followed, or at least it does since the Marquess took over. September is not a rules and regulations kind of girl, especially not if they include chaining the wings of her new friend A-L, a Wyvern (cousin to a dragon), because only leopards and licenced ragweed stalks are allowed to fly in Fairyland under the new rules. So of course, September decides to rescue Fairyland from the Marquess, and of course, she meets new friends (and a few enemies) and has many adventures, which continue in books 2 and 3 of this fabulous series.