Sunday, July 11, 2010

Falling In

Falling In by Frances O'Roark Dowell (NY: Atheneum, 2010).

How would you like to open a closet door expecting to find a mouse and instead fall into another world? That's what happens to Isabelle Bean. She's surprisingly nonplussed. She'd been hearing a buzz all morning as she'd ignored the monotony that is sixth grade. She believes she's different from other kids, so she doesn't care that she has no friends, though she wonders what it would be like. She doesn't care at all when she gets sent to the office for not paying attention in class, and that's where she opens the door to another world.

In this place, the children believe there's a witch that systematically travels around eating children. To avoid the witch, the children must journey to camps by themselves and stay there until the dangerous time has passed. This is what Hen, a girl who has gotten separated from her group, tells Isabelle somewhat cautiously when they meet in the woods. Those red boots Isabelle is wearing? They're like a sign that screams "I'm a witch!" to Hen, who nonetheless follows Isabelle on a road that Isabelle hopes will lead to the very witch who is eating children!

Excellent fantasy adventure for younger readers, ages 8-12. Odd authorial interruptions may disconcert some, but they're easily ignored.

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