Full disclosure: I am not a fantasy reader. My brain has a hard time imagining other worlds and magical creatures and accepting that they are believable. But that's what's so great about good fantasy authors--their language and descriptions make you believe. Jonathan Auxier is one amazing storyteller that has given us all "a story worth remembering."
Hints of Harry Potter, J.A. White's Thickety series, Narnia, Lloyd Alexander and Fahrenheit 451, this book is filled with strong characters that you will love and hate, a plot that keeps you turning the pages and language so rich and beautiful you almost think Auxier has some magical spell cast on him when pen hits paper or, more likely, fingers strike the keys.
12 year old Sophie Quire lives with her father in their bookshop in Bustleburgh. As the annual Pyre Day, book burning day, approaches and Peter Nimble shows up with The Book of Who requesting it to be mended by Sophie, things get exciting immediately.
"What if" you are on a quest to find four books to save your world? Could you do it?
"What if" there was a mystery about your mother's death and you craved to find the truth? Would you?
"What if" evil was out to destroy all stories because "...there is nothing harmless about filling people's heads with nonsense. Children deserve better than to be lied to about magic buttons and talking wolves. They deserve a proper, scientific education. They deserve the truth." Do they? Reading Auxier, I realize how valuable it is to escape the mundane reality of my real world and young people will, too.
This is not a short book but it moves fast. You will root for Sophie Quire; Peter Nimble, the "greatest thief who ever lived"and his side kick, Sir Tode; Akrasia, the tigress and find your heart racing and your voice cheering as they fight the evils in their world.
As Sophie says, "A world without stories is a world without magic" and I say--
Dear Jonathan Auxier, Please do not stop writing the stories because I am already yearning for my next magical escape...