The Mysterious Bookshop

Burt, Marissa, Storybound

Publishers Weekly
Burt debuts with an appealing fantasy built on the book-visiting daydreams of diehard readers. The life of chronically overlooked fosterling Una Fairchild, age 12, changes when she discovers a book with her name on the cover and begins to read. She wakes up in the world of Story inside the book, where she meets Peter, a Hero-in-training at a school where everyone is learning to be characters in the timeless Tales. But all is not well in Story—the Muses who once wrote the Tales are defeated and dead, and the tyrannical Talekeepers now control all books and information. Una and Peter’s determination to find out what’s in the hidden books lands them in the middle of a brewing revolution in which characters tired of rehashing the stereotypical Tales seek their Backstory and their freedom. Burt’s concept isn’t unique, but her strong writing and interesting characters make Una’s journey enjoyable. The fantasy elements and meta-references are engaging, and the overall result will have readers on the lookout for the planned sequel. Ages 8–12.