Colfer, Chris, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell-Bk 1
It’s hard not to love a book dedicated to the Glee star’s grandmother, who gave him this early advice: “Christopher, I think you should wait until you’re done with elementary school before worrying about being a failed writer.” In this entertaining if a bit overlong first novel, 12-year-old twins Alex (a girl) and Conner fall into their grandmother’s cherished book of stories and arrive in fairy tale land. The only way to get home is a convoluted scavenger hunt that requires them to collect eight tokens from various fairy tales—Cinderella’s glass slipper, a lock of Rapunzel’s hair, etc. The ending is never in doubt, but it’s a difficult journey as the twins meet the Big Bad Wolf Pack, are enslaved by trolls, and kidnapped by Snow White’s evil stepmother. Colfer gets off many good lines—Conner’s dialogue especially sounds like quips Kurt Hummel might make, as when the twins swim across an icy moat: “Wooo! It’s so cold, I think we may be twin sisters now.” The nifty ending ties the plot’s multiple strands up while leaving room for further fairy tale adventures. Ages 8–up.