Series: The Land of Stories #1
Author: Chris Colfer
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Source: Personal purchase
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 fairy tales.
"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.
As Kurt Hummel on Glee, Chris Colfer has been among my favorites since I started watching Glee. We saw that he’s a good actor, we saw he’s a good singer. In Struck by Lightning, we saw he’s a good screenwriter and can make a good film. In the book the movie is based on, which I think is also based on Colfer’s life, it was obvious that he was a decent writer, that he loved and respected literature. In the Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, he has created a whole new world full of excitement and action, inspired by fairytales.
The main characters of the book are Alex and Conner, who are twins. As they were growing up, their grandmother always read them stories from a book she had called “The Land of Stories.” On their 12th birthday, she gives them the book as a gift. Alex realized very soon that this book that has been passed down from generation to generation isn’t like any other book. While trying to figure out what’s going on with the book, Alex and Conner and up falling INTO the book—yep, they fall into book like one would fall into a pool! They then find themselves in the land of stories, a place they actually know so well.
From the Little Red Riding Hood to Rapunzel to Sleeping Beauty to Snow White, all the characters you love are in this book. However, things aren’t what we know them to be: the Evil Queen who’s after Snow White has escaped from prison, Rapunzel has built stairs inside the tower she was trapped in, the Wolf that tried to eat the Little Red Riding Hood isn’t around anymore, but the pack he left behind is after revenge…
Alex is thrilled to find herself in the Land of Stories, but as Conner starts to whine, she agrees that they need to find a way to get back home. The frog they meet as they arrive in the Land of Stories tells them about the Wishing Spell—they think if they could work this spell, they could wish to go back home. However, the materials needed for the spell the twins have to collect from all over the land. They don’t even understand what some of them are until the story moves ahead.
I have no doubt that children will love this book. Adults like me who’ve grown up with these fairytales will like it as well—it’s like your dreams coming true! I’m most certain that while listening to / reading these fairytales, Chris also fantasized about falling into these stories. The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spells introduces the Grimm Brothers’ stories to children as well as the lessons in them. I must warn adults that they should keep in mind they’re reading a children’s book because you forget, and then when some details start to get too long, you realize that they’re not really given with you in mind.
Now I gotta go get me the second book in the series.