Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Writing as Banks, Australian adult fiction authors Heather Rose and Danielle Wood make a sparkling children's book debut in a novel that bridges and blurs reality and fantasy, while offering a tantalizing spin on the notion of story. Tuesday McGillycuddy lives with her language-loving father and author mother, who, under the name Serendipity Smith, writes a bestselling adventure series starring heroine Vivienne Small. When Tuesday's mother disappears while finishing Vivienne's final tale, Tuesday types "The End" on her mother's typewriter, hoping she'll reappear. When she doesn't, Tuesday starts writing her own story ("Maybe what we need is a beginning"). As she types, the words transform into silvery threads that transport Tuesday and her dog, Baxterr, to a world reserved for authors, where she enlists Vivienne's help to find her mother. Their wild escapade (involving an encounter with a pirate whose bluster rivals Captain Hook's) becomes interwoven with her mother's fiction. With cinematic imagery and keen wit, the authors construct an inventive novel that raises intriguing questions about the relationship between authors and their characters, and reaches "The End" all too soon. Ages 8-up. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-6-Tuesday McGillycuddy's mom is the world-famous writer Serendipity Smith. If Serendipity is not off promoting herself on TV and radio, then she is holed away in her room working on her children's novels. Tuesday can't wait until her mom completes "Vivienne Small and the Final Battle" so they can spend more time together. Then Serendipity mysteriously disappears. Tuesday soon finds the words "The End" spelled out in shimmering, silver letters floating in the air above the keyboard and believes it's a clue to her mom's whereabouts. Typing her own story produces similar silvery words that entwine and carry her and her faithful dog Baxterr to a land where all books are created. Tuesday is convinced she will find her mom here. Though warned against doing so by a kindly librarian in this magical realm, Tuesday enters the world of her mother's book and soon embarks on exciting adventures with Vivienne Small. Threatened by bloodthirsty pirates and menacing Captain Mothwood, Vivienne and Baxterr are in extreme danger and Tuesday's creative writing skills must save them from this dire predicament. The spunky and likable characters are portrayed in line drawings throughout the book. Though it is occasionally hard to distinguish whether Vivienne's current world has been created by Serendipity or Tuesday, it does not diminish the enjoyment of this imaginative tale. Bank's story is magically whimsical and filled with adventurous twists that will keep readers turning the pages.-Diane McCabe, John Muir Elementary, Santa Monica, CA (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* Young Tuesday McGillycuddy has a secret: her mother, Serendipity Smith, is the famous author of the Vivian Small adventure series. And now Serendipity has disappeared she has somehow been swept out of their town house into Vivian Small's stories. The desperate Tuesday manages to create a way to follow her mother, and accompanied by her dog, she too enters the world of story. Before long, she meets Vivian Small and joins her in her battle with the dreadful pirate Carsten Mothwood, all the while hoping to find a way to reclaim her mom. This enchanting story (which may remind readers of the fully imagined worlds created by Edith Nesbit) celebrates the imagination and the connection writers feel with their stories. Spunky characters; spot-on pacing, providing perfectly timed plot revelations; and fully imagined worlds make this a charming winner for curling up with a good book or classroom read-alouds. Even those struggling a bit with reading will be tempted to up their game with this one.--Moore, Melissa Copyright 2015 Booklist
Horn Book Review
When Tuesday McGillycuddy's famous author mom goes missing--just as she's about to finish her latest book--Tuesday and her dog, Baxterr, travel to "the place where stories happen." In the tradition of such classics as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the Chronicles of Narnia, this every-day fantasy features memorable characters, a fully-realized imaginary world, and the inevitable good-versus-evil showdown. Stylish black-and-white spot art adds humorous touches. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
A middle-grade fantasy about the magic in writing stories. The tale begins ordinarily enough: Young Tuesday McGillycuddy is waiting for her mother, famous author Serendipity Smith, to finish the latest book in her wildly popular Vivienne Small series so they can have a family vacation. When Serendipity doesn't emerge from her studio one evening, Tuesday and her father, Denis, investigate. They find Serendipity gone and the window in front of her typewriter desk wide open. Denis seems unperturbed, assuring Tuesday that her mother will be home by breakfast, but Tuesday can't sleep. Tiptoeing to the studio, Tuesday discovers a silver box containing a gossamer thread that spells "The End." Intrigued, Tuesday places the thread on the last page of her mother's manuscript, thinking that if the story ends, then her mother will return, but the words won't stick. Deciding to start with a beginning, Tuesday begins typing a story. Her words lift off the page and form a magical thread that carries Tuesday and her dog, Baxterr, to the land where stories are written. Banks tells her story in a comfortable bedtime-story-ish third-person narrative voice that's entirely appropriate to the situation. Readers will laugh as Tuesday meets a self-absorbed successful teenage writer, they will duly respect the knowledgeable Librarian, and they will thrill as Tuesday and Vivienne Small partake in a rollicking adventure together. An original, wholehearted affirmation of the written word and the imagination. (Fantasy. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.