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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making Hardcover – 10 May 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 247 pages
  • Age Range: 10 - 13 years
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (10 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312649614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312649616
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.4 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 947,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"A GLORIOUS BALANCING ACT BETWEEN MODERNISM AND THE VICTORIAN FAIRY TALE, DONE WITH HEART AND WISDOM." -- Neil Gaiman, Newbery Award-winning author of "The Graveyard Book

""SEPTEMBER IS A CLEVER, FUN, STRONGHEARTED ADDITION TO THE RANKS OF BOLD, ADVENTUROUS GIRLS. VALENTE'S SUBVERSIVE STORYTELLING IS SHEER MAGIC." -- Tamora Pierce, author of The Immortals series

"A MAD, TOOTHSOME ROMP OF A FAIRY TALE--FULL OF ODDMENTS, WHIMSY, AND JOY." -- Holly Black, author of "Zombies vs. Unicorns "and the Spiderwick Chronicles

"WHEN I SAY THAT THIS BOOK REMINDS ME SIMULTANEOUSLY OF E. NESBIT, JAMES THURBER, AND THE LATE EVA IBBOTSON, I DON'T MEAN TO TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM ITS ASTONISHING ORIGINALITY. IT'S A CHARMER FROM THE FIRST PAGE, MANAGING THE REMARKABLE PARLAY OF BEING AT ONCE RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY AND SURPRISINGLY SUSPENSEFUL. CATHERYNNE VALENTE IS A FIND, AT ANY AGE!" -- Peter S. Beagle, author of "The Last Unicorn" "This is a kind of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by way of "Alice's A

"A glorious balancing act between modernism and the Victorian Fairy Tale, done with heart and wisdom." --Neil Gaiman, Newbery Award-winning author of "The Graveyard Book

""September is a clever, fun, stronghearted addition to the ranks of bold, adventurous girls. Valente's subversive storytelling is sheer magic." --Tamora Pierce, author of The Immortals series

"A mad, toothsome romp of a fairy tale -- full of oddments, whimsy, and joy." -- Holly Black, author of "Zombies vs. Unicorns "and the Spiderwick Chronicles

"When I saw that this book reminds me simultaneously of E. Nesbit, James Thurber, and the late Eva Ibbotson, I don't mean to take anything awy from its astonishing originality. It's a charmer from the first page, managing the remarkable parlay of being at once ridiculously funny and surprisingly suspenseful. Catherynne Valente is a find, at any age!" -- Peter S. Beagle, author of "The Last Unicorn" "This is a kind of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by way of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- "it's the sort of book one doesn't want to end." -- "Publisher's Weekly," Starred Review "[Fairyland creates] a world as bizarre and enchanting as any Wonderland or Oz and a heroine as curious, resourceful and brave as any Alice or Dorothy. Complex, rich and memorable." -- "Kirkus, " Starred Review

"This book is quite simply a gold mine." --" Booklist," Starred Review

"Amusing, wrenching, and thought-provoking." -- "The Horn Book"

Praise for "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making"

"A glorious balancing act between modernism and the Victorian Fairy Tale, done with heart and wisdom." --Neil Gaiman, Newbery Award-winning author of "The Graveyard Book "

"September is a clever, fun, stronghearted addition to the ranks of bold, adventurous girls. Valente's subversive storytelling is sheer magic." --Tamora Pierce, author of The Immortals series

"A mad, toothsome romp of a fairy tale--full of oddments, whimsy, and joy." --Holly Black, author of the Spiderwick Chronicles

"When I saw that this book reminds me simultaneously of E. Nesbit, James Thurber, and the late Eva Ibbotson, I don't mean to take anything away from its astonishing originality. It's a charmer from the first page, managing the remarkable parlay of being at once ridiculously funny and surprisingly suspenseful. Catherynne Valente is a find, at any age!" --Peter S. Beagle, author of "The Last Unicorn
"
"This is a kind of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by way of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"--it's the sort of book one doesn't want to end." --"Publishers Weekly," starred review
"["Fairyland" creates] a world as bizarre and enchanting as any Wonderland or Oz and a heroine as curious, resourceful and brave as any Alice or Dorothy. Complex, rich and memorable." --"Kirkus Reviews," starred review

"This book is quite simply a gold mine." --"Booklist," starred review

"Amusing, wrenching, and thought-provoking." --"The Horn Book
"

A glorious balancing act between modernism and the Victorian Fairy Tale, done with heart and wisdom. "Neil Gaiman, Newbery Award winning author of The Graveyard Book"

September is a clever, fun, stronghearted addition to the ranks of bold, adventurous girls. Valente's subversive storytelling is sheer magic. "Tamora Pierce, author of The Immortals series"

A mad, toothsome romp of a fairy tale--full of oddments, whimsy, and joy. "Holly Black, author of the Spiderwick Chronicles"

When I saw that this book reminds me simultaneously of E. Nesbit, James Thurber, and the late Eva Ibbotson, I don't mean to take anything away from its astonishing originality. It's a charmer from the first page, managing the remarkable parlay of being at once ridiculously funny and surprisingly suspenseful. Catherynne Valente is a find, at any age! "Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn"

This is a kind of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by way of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"--it's the sort of book one doesn't want to end. "Publishers Weekly, starred review"

["Fairyland" creates] a world as bizarre and enchanting as any Wonderland or Oz and a heroine as curious, resourceful and brave as any Alice or Dorothy. Complex, rich and memorable. "Kirkus Reviews, starred review"

This book is quite simply a gold mine. "Booklist, starred review"

Amusing, wrenching, and thought-provoking. "The Horn Book""

"A glorious balancing act between modernism and the Victorian Fairy Tale, done with heart and wisdom." --Neil Gaiman, Newbery Award-winning author of The Graveyard Book

"September is a clever, fun, stronghearted addition to the ranks of bold, adventurous girls. Valente's subversive storytelling is sheer magic." --Tamora Pierce, author of The Immortals series

"A mad, toothsome romp of a fairy tale--full of oddments, whimsy, and joy." --Holly Black, author of the Spiderwick Chronicles

"When I saw that this book reminds me simultaneously of E. Nesbit, James Thurber, and the late Eva Ibbotson, I don't mean to take anything away from its astonishing originality. It's a charmer from the first page, managing the remarkable parlay of being at once ridiculously funny and surprisingly suspenseful. Catherynne Valente is a find, at any age!" --Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn

"This is a kind of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by way of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland--it's the sort of book one doesn't want to end." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[Fairyland creates] a world as bizarre and enchanting as any Wonderland or Oz and a heroine as curious, resourceful and brave as any Alice or Dorothy. Complex, rich and memorable." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"This book is quite simply a gold mine." --Booklist, starred review

"Amusing, wrenching, and thought-provoking." --The Horn Book

Book Description

Gather up your courage and your wishes; grab a little pinch of luck - and prepare to be swept away, in a ship of your own making, to a land unlike any other. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this for 2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge. The category is ‘a book involving a mythical creature’.

I really enjoyed The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. This is a well-written, fun and very entertaining. I love fairy-tales. This book reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass and to an extent, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. This is a good thing. I got lost in the strange world September finds herself plunged into and enjoyed accompanying her on her strange adventures. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is the kind of book that’s easy to enjoy. There is a lot of heart here and a lot of craziness as well – two things I adore. I also liked the illustrations at the start of every chapter. It was fun to get lost in Fairyland with September for a while. I might read the other books in the series as well. I’d recommend The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Among tales about little girls who get whisked away to fairyland, this one stands out for a less than perfect heroine, September. We are told she is heartless, though the narrator is quick to qualify: "One ought not to judge her: All children are heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb tall trees and say shocking things and leap so very high that grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh suite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one". This is but one of many whimsical nuggets in this delightful story that keeps holding this reader's attention.

September encounters allies like the literary Wyvern (not a dragon mind you) who tells (yes of course he talks) September he was raised by a library, though he only knows stuff from A to L, those being the volumes of encyclopaedia he was raised on. She also meets a soap golem, who gives her baths to clean her courage, which is of course not as "clean and new" as when she was first born and that "every once in a while, you have to scrub it up and get the works going or else you'll never be brave again". September is sent on a quest by the evil marquess to extract a sword from a dead forest, but of course she also throws many obstacles along the way. Who the marquess is and how and why she usurped queen Mallow's throne is something that comes to light in the first installment of the fantastically well-written fairytale.

It just gets a little dark and gory, and unlike conventional children's stories where children fall and hurt themselves with bruises and bumps, this one includes scenes of battle and bloodshed. Nonetheless, this novel is truly engaging and a welcome addition to the YA fantasy bookshelf.
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How I wish I'd had a girl like September to model myself after growing up! Quest stories are everywhere but it's so rare to find one that really urges yiu to care about what's at stake, with such vivid and compelling friends and antagonists.
September's story is full of rich backdrops and delicious descriptions, a delightfully nasty villain to topple and a narrator that tells us more than sometimes we feel we deserve to know.

For anyone who has ever loved fairy stories and wishes to see them tied together in a beautiful chaotic soup, I can't think of a better primer. Five stars.
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I loved this book. Perfect for all ages can't wait to read the others in this series! As a teen rereading this I had a deeper understanding of certain areas of the book which made it more interesting than before!
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Format: Paperback
Apparently Time Magazine, Neil Gaiman and everyone else in the world but me loves this book. I must admit Valente can conjure a gorgeously lyrical turn of phrase. And if you appreciate novelty, nearly every sentence has at least one new idea the reader must pause to visualize. Having said that, I came away from this book feeling like Valente has taken a big steaming dump on Narnia, Wonderland, Neverland, Hogwarts and Oz, without ever catching the slightest glimpse of their true value and beauty, while also fluttering within a hair’s breadth of openly supporting inequity and child abuse. I found myself absolutely Hating this book.... Hating it so much I had to capitalize the word Hate and still half-considered tacking on a few extra H’s... HHHHHHHHHated.

My initial frustration was with the relentless bombardment of inventions, which while omnipresent were not especially imaginative. It's as though Valente took Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, The Chronicles of Narnia, Peter Pan, Harry Potter and a few others, threw them in a blender, and then poured the mixture arbitrarily into chapter-sized saucepans. One example that jumps out: in the Narnia books C.S. Lewis created the incredibly evocative 'Wood Between the Worlds.' Valente adds the thinnest coat of varnish imaginable to his idea, calling it 'The Closet Between Worlds.' Seriously?!? If this is meant to parody Narnia, I don't get it. If it's not meant as parody, it's hard to think of a less imaginative piece of literary theft; why not just name one’s villain 'Snarth Vader'?

What is that makes Oz, Wonderland, Narnia, and Middle Earth so wonderfully alive and evocative while the oodles of imitations always feel so lifeless and emotionally tone-deaf?
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