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Cover image for The Land of Stories. The wishing spell
Format:
Title:
The Land of Stories. The wishing spell
Other title(s):
Wishing spell
ISBN:
9780316201575

9780316201568

9780316223935

9781907411755

9781907411762

9780605733084

9780606317467

9780316453936
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2012.
Physical Description:
438 pages : illustrations, color map ; 20 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 1.
General Note:
Color map on folded front endpaper.
Summary:
Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Alex and Connor 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.
Reading Level:
Ages 8-12.
Program Information:
AR 5.0 15.0 pt.

Accelerated Reader Grades 5-8 5 15 Quiz 154466 English fiction.

Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.0 15.0 154466.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.4 22 Quiz: 58853.
Added Author:
Holds:

Available:*

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Colfer
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Colfer
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JUV FIC COLFER
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JUV FIC COLFER
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J FICTION - COLFER
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J COLFER, C. LAND OF STORIES BOOK 1
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JR COLFER
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J FIC COLFER 2012 v.1
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J FICTION COLFER
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TEEN COLFER
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TEEN COLFER
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J Colfer, C.
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TEEN Colfer, C.
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J Land of Stories v.1
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JF COLFER v.1
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On Order

Summary

Summary

The first book in Chris Colfer's #1 New York Times bestselling series The Land of Stories about two siblings who fall into a fairy-tale world!
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 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.


Author Notes

Chris Colfer was born in Clovis, California on May 27, 1990. While pursuing a career in film and television, he worked mornings before school in the cafeteria as a cookie scooper and summers as a clerk at a dry cleaners. He is best known for his role as Kurt Hummel on Glee. In 2011, he won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for this role. He is the author of The Land of Stories series and Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal, based on his screenplay of the same name.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-When Alex and Conner's father unexpectedly dies, the twins lose the person who always had the perfect story to cheer them up. Then, on their 12th birthday, their grandmother gives them the book of fairy tales he used to read to them. Suddenly it seems to come to life, and the youngsters find themselves falling into the Land of Stories, seemingly with no way to get out. Desperate, they follow instructions in a mysterious journal: if they gather eight items from various residents in the kingdoms of the Land of Stories, they can complete the Wishing Spell and have one wish granted. After scaling castle walls, diving deep into the home of mermaids, and meeting characters from all of the beloved fairy tales, they are stymied by the Evil Queen, who has escaped from Snow White's dungeon. With the hope of using the spell gone, the twins appear to have no way home until they meet Fairy Godmother, their own grandmother. In a way, they find comfort from their grief over their father's death when they realize that they have been following his journal and that he grew up in this land. The writing quality in this adventure is inconsistent and detracts from the fast-paced story. The deep sadness of the twins comes through, but they are somewhat one-dimensional, since Alex is so much the nerd and Conner, the class clown. The plotline, however, pulls readers in and is entertaining, and Colfer's passion for fairy tales shines through. Turn to Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark & Grimm (Dutton, 2010) for higher-quality writing in a recent fractured fairy-tale novel.-Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

It's hard not to love a book dedicated to the Glee star's grandmother, who gave him this early advice: "Christopher, I think you should wait until you're done with elementary school before worrying about being a failed writer." In this entertaining if a bit overlong first novel, 12-year-old twins Alex (a girl) and Conner fall into their grandmother's cherished book of stories and arrive in fairy tale land. The only way to get home is a convoluted scavenger hunt that requires them to collect eight tokens from various fairy tales-Cinderella's glass slipper, a lock of Rapunzel's hair, etc. The ending is never in doubt, but it's a difficult journey as the twins meet the Big Bad Wolf Pack, are enslaved by trolls, and kidnapped by Snow White's evil stepmother. Colfer gets off many good lines-Conner's dialogue especially sounds like quips Kurt Hummel might make, as when the twins swim across an icy moat: "Wooo! It's so cold, I think we may be twin sisters now." The nifty ending ties the plot's multiple strands up while leaving room for further fairy tale adventures. Ages 8-up. Agent: Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

It's been a hard year for twins Alex and Connor since their father passed. They miss his stories, especially the fairy tales he used to teach them about life, as well as soothe their fears. They know better now: life rarely has a happy ending. But then a magic book from their grandmother, a gift on their twelfth birthdays, sends the twins hurtling into the Land of Stories, where happy endings are usually expected. Their biggest concern is gathering the materials needed for the Wishing Spell, which will send them back home. So begins a scavenger hunt for some of the most recognizable symbols and characters in fantasy lore: Cinderella's glass slippers, a lock of hair from Rapunzel, tree bark from Little Red Riding Hood's basket, etc. Golden Globe-winner Colfer writes for an audience that will likely include plenty of teen readers (i.e., fans of Glee), and generally they will not be disappointed by the giddy earnestness of the writing, cut with a hint of melancholy. Dorman's evocative spot illustrations kick off each chapter.--Jones, Courtney Copyright 2010 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

YOU DON'T HAVE to own a knitted pink cap or the collected works of Roxane Gay to find the sexual politics of fairy tales troubling. Among the lessons fairy tales impart: Upward mobility is possible - if you're a ravishing beauty ("Cinderella"). Women don't need to talk - or breathe, really - as long as they are physically attractive ("Snow White"). Abducting women is a viable path to romance ("Beauty and the Beast"). The nonconsensual kissing of coma victims is a great way to meet your mate ("Sleeping Beauty"). Pretty retrograde, even in the post- Hillary era. Which is why recent retellings and mash-ups of fairy tales tend to give the Grimm brothers universe a feminist makeover, or at least a feminist sheen. Perhaps you remember Princess Fiona in the "Shrek" films, who had kung fu skills to rival Bruce Lee. Or Cinderella in Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods," who helped slay the giantess - in part by directing her birds to distract her. In the recent live-action "Beauty and the Beast," Belle is an inventor and a proponent of female literacy (though she still falls in love with her kidnapper, so it continues to register high on the creepiness scale). The newest entry into the empoweredprincess genre is "Frogkisser!," by Garth Nix, who previously wrote the Old Kingdom series. "Frogkisser!" centers on a young princess named Anya who has to save the kingdom from a wicked sorcerer. To do so, she has to talk with dogs, ride an itchy magic carpet, rescue her sister's fiancé and kiss a pondful of frogs. Midway through the book, as Anya sets offto confront a coven of witches, one character asks her, "What kind of princess are you?" "Not the kind that needs rescuing," Anya says firmly. The revisionism doesn't end there. Three of Snow White's seven dwarves are female. And the prince she's trying to rescue? Well, he's handsome but not "all that clever." The audiobook is narrated by the actress and novelist Marisa Calin, who does a fantastic job. She has a British accent, which somehow makes all fairy tales 26 percent better. Her upbeat tone is wellsuited to the book's jaunty style and amusing quests - such as the search for a magic lip balm needed for proper amphibian kissing. My only complaint is that the book dragged a bit in the middle. I got lost trying to keep track of all the adventures and characters: "Now which is the half-otter, and which is the newt?" I'd ask my kids as we listened in the car. In my experience, keeping multiple characters straight is one of the few drawbacks of audiobooks in general. "FROGKISSER!" COMES several years after the actor Chris Colfer started to publish his own fairy-tale-inspired books with a girl-power twist. Colfer's series the Land of Stories follows a pair of 12-year-old twins who are magically sucked into a book of fairy tales. (My kids and I are on Vol. 3 of six of the hardcovers.) In Colfer's books, damsels are rarely in distress. Goldilocks, for instance, is a sword-wielding warrior and Sleeping Beauty hasn't slept in years because she's working tirelessly to reform her kingdom. Colfer's new audiobook, "The Land of Stories: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales," is related to the series, but also a departure. It doesn't feature the adventuring twins, but instead is a straightforward collection of fairy tales. Twenty-five stories from the Grimm brothers, Hans Christian Andersen and others, are retold and tidied up a bit by Colfer. I recommend it for three reasons. First, Colfer - an actor most famous for playing a countertenor teenager on "Glee" - is a wizard at voices. In "Henny Penny," he gives distinct, birdlike cadences to a duck, a goose, hen, rooster and a turkey. His yawn from Goldilocks was convincing enough to make me yawn in the driver's seat. Second, I want my sons to know the original fairy tales, and not just get them filtered through reinterpretations. We live in a world where kids ingest the parodies before the real thing. My children have seen multiple "Twilight Zone" takeoffs (on "Futurama," for instance), but have never watched an episode of Rod Serling's show. I suffer from this too. I knew the Puss in Boots character from "Shrek," but embarrassingly had no notion of the original tale. (Which contains another useful moral: Blatant lies and fraud are the key to success.) Which brings me to my third reason, which is that fairy tales are great conversation starters. Not so much for the lessons they are trying to impart, which are often appalling, but as a way to spark interesting questions. When listening in the car, my kids and I talked about whether Jack is morally justified in stealing gold from the giant just because the giant is a terrible being. Also, does the maiden in "Rumpelstiltskin" owe nothing to the dwarf for his hard work? Perhaps not her firstborn, but at least a token? As I mentioned, Colfer has cleaned up the tales a bit. In terms of rawness, they fall somewhere between the Grimm and Disney versions. For instance, in the Grimm version, Cinderella's stepsisters chop offa toe and a slice of heel to fit in the slipper. Disney's "Cinderella" has no gore at all. Colfer's compromise: The stepsister "crammed her foot inside the slipper so tightly it started to bleed." Colfer has also, thankfully, leftout the truly horrible Grimm stories, like their tale "The Jew in the Thorns," about a miserly man who is sentenced to death. Not even Disney could make that palatable. But even when softened and redacted, listening to fairy tales can be demented, disturbing fun. A. J. JACOBS is the author, most recently, of "Drop Dead Healthy." His next book, "It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree," will be published in the fall.