Monday, August 13, 2012

Staff Picks

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor  (Teen Middle)

If you saw Tim Burton’s recent movie Alice in Wonderland, you probably know that he took an old fantasy story and turned it into something brand new-- part dark comedy, part action adventure, combined with some elements of horror—definitely not for young children.

There are many ways to tweak classic stories and many reasons why old, familiar stories stay popular generation after generation.  The most obvious reason is that they are simply great stories.  They have themes almost anyone can relate to, such as the struggle of good against evil and the search of a young person to find his or her purpose in life.

If you enjoy reading stories that use these classic themes, you might like The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor.  This is the first book in a fantasy trilogy. It is different from most fantasy stories, which normally start in the real world and then move into the fantasy world.  This is the opposite—in this book the real world is the fantasy world.  A girl named Alyss, who lives in the real Wonderland, goes through a portal and winds up in Victorian London of the 1800s as a girl named Alice.  She tells her story to a writer, who tells her story in a book he calls Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  But Alyss has to find her way back to Wonderland, escape evil creatures, fight an evil queen, and claim her rightful place as the Queen of Wonderland.

This is the first book in a trilogy, if you like epic stories.  But if you want to get right to the action without reading the whole trilogy, you might be interested to know it is also available in a Graphic Novel.  It’s not wordy, so it’s a very quick read.  The illustrations tell most of the story, and they have a hazy, ethereal quality that draws you into that other world.

Virginia McCurry
Youth Services Specialist