The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Catherynne M. Valente
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"One of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century."―Time magazine, on the Fairyland series
Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn't . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.
With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when author Catherynne M. Valente first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Fiction title for 2011.
sad, her mother says she didn’t have one, that she’s an angel’s daughter and no awful lawn mower salesman had a thing to do with her. Do you think, maybe … it could have been like that, with your mother?” A-Through-L looked pityingly at her, his blazing red face scrunched up in doubt. “September, really. Which do you think is more likely? That some brute bull left my mother with egg and went off to sell lonemozers? Or that she mated with a Library and had many loved and loving children? I mean,
they parted, there was a space between their mouths just large enough for a Leopard carrying a Harsh Air and a little girl. All September could see on the other side were clouds. Solemnly, the Green Wind held out his gloved hand to the girl in orange. “Well done, September,” he said, and lifted her onto the Leopard’s emerald saddle. * * * One can never see what happens after an exeunt on a Leopard. It is against the rules of theatre. But cheating has always been the purview of fairies,
smacking his lips and blowing rings. Ell! The Marquess needed me because of my mother! Golden leaves dribbled onto the square. Saturday stroked September’s brow, and she had a moment, only a moment, to be amazed that he did not think her ugly, that he was not afraid to touch her. Because she fixes engines, Ell. So this is her sword. Do you understand? If it had been anyone else, it would have been something else. Like, for you, it might have been a book. For Saturday, a raincloud. If only I
had stopped, at least, mostly stopped. But she could not move her arms, and she suspected her leg was broken. It surely was not supposed to bend that way beneath her. The cold water numbed her all over, and softly, quietly, September cried in the dark. “I want to go home,” she said shakily to the dark. And she meant it, for the first time. Not as the lie that had gotten her into Fairyland, but the real and honest truth. Her lips trembled. Her teeth chattered. “It’s all so scary here, Mom,” she
no worries about that. I’m sure it’ll all work itself out. Dreams have a way of doing that.” “Is it a dream?” “I don’t know, what do you think? It certainly seems like a dream. I mean, talking Leopards! My stars.” September squeezed her fists in the dark. “No,” she whispered. “It’s not. Or if it is, I don’t care. They need me.” “Good girl,” chuffed the Green Wind. “When little ones say they want to go home, they almost never mean it. They mean they are tired of this particular game and would