Book: The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1)
Author: Chris Colfer
Published: June 17, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Genre: Middle Grade, Fairy Tale
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 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. (Goodreads)
My rating: 3 stars
It was okay. Recommend to some.
I was really excited about this book. It sounded so neat, so fun. And it was. But…it was also a little disappointing.
What I loved: This is a story about siblings having an adventure together. And better yet – they are boy/girl twins.
Alex and Conner are two very different siblings. Alex is a bit of a nerd, she likes school and does well in it. Conner, not so much. Alex is quiet and a little stoic in social situations. She doesn’t have a lot of friends. Conner is class clown and beloved by all the other kids. Despite their differences, they love each other, trust each other, and have a unique bond. And, they both LOVE fairytales. I enjoyed watching them interact – both when they were happy with each other and working well together and when they were typical siblings who did not like the other one’s idea or action.
I’ve got a twin brother. He’s pretty awesome. We had lots of same-gender twins in our schools growing up, but we were the only different-gender twins. That made us feel pretty special. So, every time I find a book about different-gender twins, I get very excited. (Yes, I did send him a photo of this book in What’sApp when I was reading it.)
What I loved: The adventure and the integration of different fairytales into one place and story.
This book is very creative. But in a simple, easy to understand way. I enjoyed Colfer’s land and how he divided up the kingdoms to align with different fairytales and characters. The Land of Stories houses a ton of recognizable characters who are all just a little bit different that we might have expected. It’s fun and it’s cute.
What I didn’t like quite so much: The story was quite predictable and moralistic.
I enjoyed this read, but some readers might not…it’s definitely for a younger audience than most middle grade books that I’ve read. Although I was surprised a few times, for most of the book, I was able to predict quite early on what would happen. I wanted more surprises and unfortunately, didn’t get them.
Like many traditional fairytales, has a strong moralist message that made me scrunch up my nose. I’m not a fan of books that state their lesson whether directly (or not-so-indirectly).
The Wishing Spell is a fun read and great for mid-elementary school readers. It would make a great bedtime read-aloud for a family to go through together. I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure if I enjoyed it enough to read the other six books in the series and four companion books.
I tried out a new review style this time. What do you think?