A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the fantastic imagination, exuberant narrative, unforgettable characters, and ethical quandaries that make the two previous Fairyland books so compelling are back in full force in The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two. Protagonist September is now two years older than when the series started and grappling with grown-up issues, from helping her family to the heartbreak of living between two worlds and constantly being torn from her loved ones. Some of the teen-parent relationship nuances, romantic misunderstandings, and urgent conflicts may be lost on younger readers. World War II still weighs on the story. There are scary scenes of earthquakes, conflict, and cataclysms, and many species seem to have been annihilated; the missing paw of a mutilated creature plays a fateful role. Two young characters kiss and hold hands. A being gives birth in a joyous event that involves a lot of gore.
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What's the story?
As September's 14th birthday comes and goes and she takes on more adult responsibilities, she fears that maybe she's too old to go back to Fairyland, that the place she loves no longer wants her. When her transport arrives unexpectedly, she's quickly sent on a mission to Fairyland's moon. Her joyous reunion with friends Ell and Saturday soon leads to many dangers on the quest, encounters with strange characters, and challenging surprises as they cope with the growing complexities of inter-species, inter-world friendship.
Is it any good?
Author Catherynne M. Valente's vivid imagination and prose continue in epic form in THE GIRL WHO SOARED OVER FAIRYLAND AND CUT THE MOON IN TWO, the third volume of the Fairyland series. Her narrative voice hustles September along the path of adventure, often pausing to deliver pithy lectures on subjects from the troubles caused by lies to fate vs. free will, all the while throwing off hilariously erudite one-liners and heartrending bits of emotional insight on the way to a cliff-hanger ending. Once again, Ana Juan's illustrations are surreal, poignant, funny, and immensely appealing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why books about Fairyland are so popular. How does the version of Fairyland that appears in this series compare with the ones in other books? Which do you like better?
"What others call you you become" is a concept September tries to come to terms with, whether the names come from someone in Fairyland or the mean girls at school. Do you think you become what other people say you are? Why, or why not? Can you think of any examples?
If you could fast-forward through all the parts of your life you don't like and just enjoy the good parts (like fairies can), would you? What might you skip over, and what would you not want to miss?
- Author: Catherynne M. Valente
- Illustrator: Ana Juan
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Fairy Tales, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
- Publication date: October 1, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 14
- Number of pages: 256
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love Fantasy and strong female characters
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