@kidlitexchange #partner: The Spinner of Dreams by K.A. Reynolds and Harper Collins Kids. Releases 8/27/19.
I haven’t read Alice in Wonderland since the approximate age of 9, but this book reminded me of Alice in Wonderland nonetheless. Annalise in Dreamland.
For reasons initially unknown, 11-year-old Annalise was cursed by Fate at birth, bringing nothing but pain and shame to her wonderful, loving, gentle parents who still see only the best in her. Finally taking her fate into her own hands and desiring to rid herself of her curse, Annalise sneaks out, boards an imaginatively mysterious train, meets a beautiful warm-hearted fox, and sets out to conquer the Labyrinth of Fate and Dreams and defeat the Fate Spinner once and for all.
Two-thirds of the book takes place within the Labyrinth (the part that reminded me of a dark, twisted Wonderland) and the action was wonderful. I hardly saw anything coming. I kiiinda figured out Annalise’s connection to the Spinner of Dreams but the way it happened was nothing I ever would have guessed. It is exciting, it is tense, and it is, ultimately, beautiful.
Let me talk about two things I loved. First, I loved that this was a world of unicorns, curses, fate, spirits...and also cars, television news, and animal shelters. I LOVE fantasy worlds that have classic fantasy elements mixed with all our modern conveniences, so this really made my day.
Secondly, and far more importantly, I loved Annalise discovering that her curse, her difference that had made life so painful and difficult, was not a curse at all, but a gift. Her strength, her unique power. As someone not neurotypical myself, this was a beautiful reminder and meant a lot to me. We all have something that makes life hard, but it’s also what makes us who we are. We offer our unique gifts to the world because of it.
You can pick up this wonderful fantasy in late August! Thank you @kidlitexchange, @harperkid and @krisrey19 for the review copy—all opinions are my own.