Jenny the Adventurer is back, and this time she's off to the Land of Tales: the crazy place that all fairy tales come from. If she can defeat an evil witch and complete three impossible tasks--all without getting eaten by blood-thirsty monsters--Jenny might finally get some answers about what happened to her parents. This is one adventure Jenny can't afford to fail.
Paperback, 215 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Three and a half stars: A fun series for young readers that features a spunky heroine.
Jenny just wants to live a normal life. Go to school, a few dances and have real friends, but that is extremely difficult considering every time she turns around, Anthony the Gnome is popping in insisting she go on another quest to save some far away land. Today, Jenny is struggling to break up a mermaid war between the green tails and blue tails. Just when things are getting particularly nasty, Anthony comes along and tells her she can quit this quest as there is another more pressing adventure. Jenny groans, until she finds out that she is headed to the land where her parents were last seen seven years ago. Now she is incredibly anxious to get there to see if she can uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her parents. Luckily, Jenny gets a little help because Anthony is letting her take along her two best human friends Trisha and Melissa. Now the question is can Jenny save the Land of Tales from the witch's curse before all the magic is drained from the land and can she find her long lost parents?
What I Liked:
- There is plenty to love about this cute, fun middle grade book. There is magic, fairy tales, adventure and lots of mythical creatures and delightful world building. Any young reader will enjoy being swept away into the magical world of fairy tales.
- I love that Jenny is a spunky and resourceful heroine. She is constantly thrust into difficult, often life endangering situations where she has to be quick to think on her feet. Jenny must solve her problems with wits as she is a human without magic. In this book, she faces terrifying riddling trolls, monstrous sea creatures, an insidious witch and an impossible mountain. Not to mention the fact that the villagers are very trustful of adventurers. Jenny faces three impossible tasks and manages to come out on top. I like that she is spirited and she doesn't easily give up, even when things are grim. She is a positive role model for your young readers.
- This is a great coming of age series as Jenny at thirteen is beginning to discover all kinds of things about herself. Even though she complains about her adventurer life, I think she is learning that it isn't all bad and I am enjoying watching her growth.
- This is a quick easy read and it is age appropriate. I would recommend this series for young readers 8-13. It is clean and fun and has plenty of positive messages. There are also lots of funny and somewhat cheesy lines (the author even pokes fun at the cheeziness) so it should appeal to your young reader. Hand this to them with confidence as there is nothing to fear in this series!
And The Not So Much:
- I am constantly complaining about cliffhanger endings in the YA genre and I was completely disappointed to find a cliffhanger type ending with this book. Jenny gets to the end of her quest only to find out that the person she thought was behind all the evil in the land is not, and now she must now seek out the real culprit. Basically, Jenny goes on this quest and achieves her goals only to be slapped in the face with an "oh sorry you didn't get it right." I was expecting a bit of resolution and found that there was really nothing. The Land of Tales is still in disarray and unrestored, her parents are still missing and she must now track down the real villains. I just don't think that younger readers are as apt to stick with a series if they don't get an ending. I know as a younger reader, I would have been disappointed to read an entire book and not get the satisfaction I was seeking. The one positive at the end was that Jenny remains determined and she and her friends vow to help the people of the land learn to live without magic.
- Along with the cliffhanger, this book leaves remaining unanswered questions. As an older reader it is not an issue for me, but with younger readers they have shorter attention spans and I fear that not giving them satisfying answers may deter them from the series. If you are interested in these books for your young reader ( I still recommend them) I would likely get them together so once they finish they can move right into the next one without forgetting anything. Even as an adult reader, I struggle remembering everything between books especially if there is a long duration so I can see this being an issue with younger readers. Luckily, this is not a huge issue because the final book My Sort of Fairy Tale Ending will release in November 2013. So the wait is not long!
My Unfair Fairy Tale is a magical book with a admirable protagonist, Jenny, who will certainly appeal to younger girls. This is a series with lots of magic, faraway kingdoms and plenty of mythical creatures. I like that it has positive messages and especially reminds readers not to give up. I would recommend this series for younger readers, but keep in mind that not everything comes to a closure so it might be best to acquire them and read them all together to prevent frustrations with forgetting details. You can hand this to your young reader with confidence as it is age appropriate and clean.
"I'd never heard of anyone being turned into a rug. Suddenly the phrase "letting people walk all over you" had a totally new meaning."
"The first step so better times is to imagine them."
The wonderful folks at Sourcebooks Jabberwocky are allowing me to give away one paperback copy of this fun little book to a lucky U.S. reader. Please fill out the Rafflcopter to enter. Good Luck!
Here is a bit more about the author:
Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. She was named the 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. Currently, Anna lives outside of Boston with her husband and their adopted black Labrador, Emma.
When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. She is the author of My Very UnFairy Tale Life and its sequel, My Epic Fairy Tale Fail, both published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. The third book in the trilogy, My Sort Of Fairy Tale Ending, will be out in November 2013. Look for Anna’s next tween series, The Dirt Diaries, in 2014, and her first picture book, Dogosaurus Rex, forthcoming from Henry Holt. Find Anna on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
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