Escaping Ordinary

Crown. Sept. 2020. 336p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780525646723.
Gr 4-7–Indira’s Author has finished her story, and now she is being sent on a Hero’s Journey tutorial by Protagonist Prep. She must learn how to be part of a team, and to not use her hammer for everything. As soon as her team lands in the town of Ordinary, things go awry as they discover an Author has slipped into their world and is destroying everything in his path. Famous literary characters once again make appearances (what’s a Hero’s Journey without a pompous King Arthur, or a training camp led by Aragorn?), as well as even more world-building that will satisfy readers’ curiosity of how stories are created (like factories that produce plot twists and poetic justice). Alongside these new parts of Imagination, our characters are dealt a heavier dose of the Real World through the antagonist Author (who writes fanfiction, which is a nice nod to nontraditional authors), fascinated with video games. Reintgen writes powerful characters complete with flaws that make them compelling, and crafts exciting action sequences that jump off the page. As Wendy from Peter Pan says to Indira, “It sounds like an awfully big adventure. Do not forget to have some fun.” And fun is what awaits you in this tale, Dear Reader.
VERDICT A worthy follow-up to a standout series opener. A strong meta-fantasy purchase; buy the first installment if your library doesn’t already own it.

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