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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Finding Serendipity is a wildly inventive story by Angelica Banks, the pen name of two adult fiction writers from Australia who use their literary smarts to craft a story-within-a-story. The book features an adventurous girl protagonist, her successful writer mother, and the fearless girl character they invent together. When Tuesday's mom, famous writer Serendipity Smith, goes missing, Tuesday sets out to find her. She steps into her mother's story, befriends her mom's main character, battles pirates, and saves herself and her new friend by trying her own hand at altering the plot. Two sequels are scheduled.
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What's the story?
Tuesday McGillycuddy discovers that her mom, a wildly famous author on the order of J.K. Rowling, is missing and determines to find her. When Tuesday snoops for clues, she types on her mom's typewriter, and the words become a silvery thread leading her and her dog to a fantastic land where writers go to finish their stories. There, Tuesday inserts herself into her mom's unfinished story, meets her mom's feisty girl protagonist, and battles a couplet-loving pirate -- but can she save the day and make the story her own?
Is it any good?
FINDING SERENDIPITY is swashbuckling fun, a pirate adventure story and literary romp rolled into one. Young readers will love being transported to a land where writers meet their characters and work out stories, a window onto the writer's process. Both the story-within-the-story and the actual story are page-turners. And there's a mind-bending dramatic twist when the mom unwittingly puts her daughter in more danger.
There's also lots of entertaining wordplay: Tuesday's dad speaks alliteratively (starting each word with the same letter) just for the fun of it, and he and Tuesday trade rhyming couplets, a skill that serves Tuesday well later, when she challenges the pirate to a competitive round of couplets. Readers will enjoy this smart, quirky family and welcome this new resourceful girl protagonist.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about writing stories. How do you get ideas for your own stories? How do you decide what's going to happen in the plot?
Have fun with language: Try making up rhyming couplets at the dinner table.
This book was written by two authors writing under the one pen name Angelica Banks. What do you think would be difficult about writing a story with someone else? What would be fun and helpful? Try writing a story with a friend or sibling.
- Author: Angelica Banks
- Illustrator: Stevie Lewis
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Pirates
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, Inc.
- Publication date: February 3, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 288
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.