Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Jaclyn Moriarty, author of Feeling Sorry for Celia and The Year of Secret Assignments, incorporates letter-writing into her delightful new fantasy series, The Colors of Madeleine. In book 1, A Corner of White, Madeleine and Elliot are teens in two different worlds who discover a crack just big enough to pass notes through to each other.

Madeleine is being home-schooled in Cambridge, England, where she lives with her mother, possibly in hiding from their former lives. Elliot is in the Kingdom of Cello, determined to find his father who has disappeared, possibly kidnapped by violet.

"A Note on Colors. While Cello is a wonderfully 'colorful' place, in the traditional sense of that word, it is also home to a large population of 'Colors.' These are living organisms: a kind of rogue subclass of the colors that we see when we look at a red apple or blue sky."

That's an excerpt from The Kingdom of Cello: An Illustrated Travel Guide. There are hilarious newspaper columns penned by two giddy princesses on tour ("Dearest, Sweetest, Most Arduously Marvelous Subjects of this! our Fine and Salutary Kingdom of Cello! Hello!"), the writings of Isaac Newton, a long-awaited Butterfly Child, and lots more.

I listened to the wonderful audiobook [Scholastic: 11.5 hr] narrated by Fiona Hardingham (Madeleine); Andrew Eiden (Elliot); Kate Reinders (ditzy princess sisters); and Peter McGowan (newspaper corrections editor). Inventive, fresh and fun.

Readalikes: The Golden Compass (Philip Pullman); and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Catherynne Valente).

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