Welcome again to Third Thursday Staff Recommendations! This new blog features staff member reviews of their favorites books. This month, Lila Simmons shares a title that her two children and she enjoy. Thank you, Lila.
My minis + I LOVE a good bedtime story and Pete Begler delivered in spades with The Fearless Travelers’ Guide to Wicked Places. Though a little challenging to read aloud, this children’s fantasy fiction novel satisfied all of my literary cravings; adventure, deep relationships, fantastic characters and personal development tools while magnetically holding the attention of a 10 & 12-year-old boy.
As twelve-year-old Nell Perkins and her brothers journey through the Wicked Places to rescue her mother – who has been kidnapped by evil witches and turned into a bird – she learns a myriad of important life lessons. Courage is probably the most pronounced theme in the book. The children push through their fears all throughout the book. Other important themes are the power of staying positive in negative situations (it literally saves their lives once), trust your gut, have faith and don’t give up no matter what things look like and you’re stronger than you think you are. Nell even learns what it means to be a leader. I was thrilled to have my minis experience in the context of a story about Kiddos their age.
I didn’t want to put the book down, even though it’s a J (children’s) selection. The characters were so well-written that I want to know what everyone is up to right now. What happened to their little family? What happened to her guide through the Dreamlands? What happened to the Dreamlands?!!! Do they get to remember when they go back? I have SO many questions! Perhaps that’s just my curious mind. Perhaps it’s the mark of a story well told…
I hope you will go on this adventure with Nell and her brothers through the Dreamlands.
Publishers Summary The Fearless Travelers’ Guide to Wicked Places by Pete Begler: Twelve-year-old Nell Perkins knows there is magic at work that she can’t yet understand. Her mother has been taken by witches and turned into a bird. Nell must journey to get her mother back, even if it takes her deep into the Wicked Places | the frightening realm where Nightmares resides. There she must break the spell and stop the witches from turning our world into a living nightmare.