Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed Someone to Wed, a romance set during the Regency period. Tina reviewed Tuesday’s Gone, second in the mystery series by Nicci French. Gaele reviewed How to Stop Time, which includes some time in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. In honor of the second season of Victoria on PBS, Sim shared photos of The Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall. Laurie of Relevant Obscurity joined our link party for the first time with her review of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
Book: The Storybook of Legends, The Unfairest of Them All, and A Wonderlandiful World by Shannon Hale
Genre: fantasy fiction for young people
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 2013 to 2014
Source: e-books from the library
Summary: Ever After High is where fairy tale characters send their children so that they can learn how to play the same characters that their parents did. But things seem to be a bit different for this generation. Snow White’s daughter, Apple, has blond hair. The Evil Queen’s daughter, Raven, really doesn’t like being evil. Plus, her mother was so evil that things have gone haywire in this world. She caused a disease to ravage Wonderland. Only a few characters escaped, including the Mad Hatter and his daughter, Maddie.
Thoughts: This is a little bit of a stretch for British Isles Friday, since the Ever After High trilogy is written by an American author and set in a fantasy world. Enjoyment of this fantasy world, though, requires a knowledge of fairy tales and of the Wonderland created by British author Lewis Carroll for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
For me, the most fun part of this series was that Maddie Hatter could hear the narrator in her mind. That was amusing enough as a concept, but it builds as a story arc through the series in a way that was satisfying and fit within this fantasy world.
Appeal: The Ever After High series is set in a high school, with some of the same questions that we expect high school students in the real world to have, especially “what do I want to be when I grow up?” I’m tempted to call it Young Adult for that reason. But, I really think that middle grade readers are going to get the greatest kick out of a fantasy world built around fairy tale characters and Wonderland. There’s nothing too adult in these books for middle grade readers. The ideal time to read The Storybook of Legends and the two follow-up stories is probably right after your first reading of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
Have you read this book? What did you think?