Pages & Co.: The Bookwanderers

Philomel. (Pages & Co.). Sept. 2019. 288p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781984837127.
Gr 5-7–Tilly is an 11-year-old orphan who lives with her grandparents, owners of the magical bookstore Pages & Co. Her adventure begins during winter break when she explores the bookstore and notices unusual characters among the stacks. Her grandparents are alarmed at these sightings because they know these characters materialize out of books—they are fiction made real. They soon suspect that Tilly is able to bookwander, which means she can travel back and forth between the real world and the world of fiction. She especially likes to bookwander with Anne Shirley, of “Anne of Greene Gables,” because she feels kinship with her as an orphan. But can Tilly bookwander to find her long-lost family? Readers will want to become familiar with the literary characters Tilly meets. Tilly’s grandfather succinctly puts the importance of books into perspective. He says, “The books we love when we’re growing up shape us in a special way...The characters in the books we read help us decide who we want to be.”
VERDICT James’s debut will speak to the heart of bibliophiles and is highly recommended for readers young and old. An important reminder of the centrality of stories in shaping our lives.

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