So, I guess my praise for these books has yet to end. Seriously, I am in awe of Valente’s writing skill. And I have absolutely no idea why more people haven’t been talking, praising, and hyping these books. They are pure childhood wonderment and adventure. And I know I have never read anything else quite like them.
I kind of went into reading this one with a little hesitance because I wasn’t sure if it would be Valente’s last book in the series of not, and I still don’t know. (Does anyone know if this is the last one?) I hate not knowing if a book is the last. It’s like I wasn’t sure if I mentally needed to make my goodbyes or not. Eventually though, I forgot all about my goodbyes in preference for all of September’s adventures.
This time her adventures involve a car, the moon, a library, her old friends, a moon-yeti, a circus, fate, very life-like photographs, and growing up. How old does one need to be before there is no more fairyland for them? Will September have to end up with Saturday because of something that happened in book 1, or does she have a choice? And what if September doesn’t have her mind made up yet about anything –how old is too old to not know what you want from life?
In some ways I like this book the best. It became a little bit deeper. There were more philosophical moments than ever before. And the slight background theme of “growing up” took center stage here. I guess my feeling of not knowing whether I needed to say goodbye or not, never completely left me in my reading.
In other ways, this book didn’t hold the same level of magic for me, and I’m not 100% sure why. I think part of it is the description. Sometimes the length in which important things were explained took up too much time. I found myself trying to get through explanation quickly, so I could get closer to the story. And this isn’t good because the explanations in these books make the story.
Overall though, I loved this book. I really, really, really hope it’s not the last in the series. I rank fairyland with Narnia and Lyra’s Oxford. And I don’t know how better to compliment it. If I ever have kids, I will read these books to them. I give this a 10/10. And I have I to share my two favorite quotes:
“Everyone is hungry and not only for food –for comfort and love and excitement and the opposite of being alone. Almost everything awful anyone does is to get those things and keep them. Even the mites and the mussels. But no one can use you up unless you let them…The whole point of growing is to get big enough to hold the world you want inside you. But it takes a long time, and you really must eat your vegetables, and most often you have to make the world you want out of yourself” (102-103).
And my last favorite quote of course comes from the library:
“A silent library is a sad library. A library without patrons on whom to pile books and tales and knowing and magazines full of up-to-the-minute political fashions and atlases and plays in pentameter! A library should be full of exclamations! Shouts of delight and horror as the wonders of the world are discovered or the lies of the heavens uncovered or the world adventures of devil-knows-who sent romping out of the pages. A library should be full of now-just-a-minutes and that-can’t-be-rights and scientific folk running skelter to prove somebody wrong. It should positively vibrate with laughing at comedies and sobbing at tragedies, it should echo with gasps as decent ladies glimpse indecent things and indecent ladies stumble upon secret and scandalous decencies! A library should not shush; it should roar!" (109-110).