If you are or know a book-loving kid between the ages of 9 and 12 then I can highly recommend this series to you. The first two books (of what I believe are to be a trilogy) are fun and full of bookish references. They will very likely inspire eager readers to track down the featured classics that they might be unfamiliar with and they will certainly encourage young readers to embrace their book-loving selves. For an adult reader such as myself, the story was a little slow to pick up but there were a couple of unexpected twists along the way.
Our heroine is Tilly Pages, 11-years-old, and a book lover. Tilly lives with her grandparents who own and run a bookstore called Pages & Co. Pages & Co is everything you might want in a bookstore, even when with adult eyes it kind of makes no sense. Tilly has lived with her grandparents since she was a baby when her mother disappeared mysteriously. She has the ordinary 11-year-old problems of friends and homework. Until, that is, she begins to run into fictional characters come to life inside of the bookstore. Things get even stranger when her favourite characters (Anne Shirley and Alice of Wonderland) bring her and her friend Oscar into their stories.
Tilly learns that she is a book wanderer, someone able to access the magic of books and step into the stories themselves. This gets her caught up with the sinister figure of Enoch Chalk and sets her on a path to learn more about what really happened to her mother. The story that unfolds is exciting without being scary. There is a twist about Tilly’s parentage that, for me, created more questions than answers about this book magic but I’m not sure a younger reader would look at it in the same light.
It’s a great start to a new series and one that I think young readers will enjoy. I gave the first two books to my niece (who is 9) and she loaned them back to me, telling me that they were good and I should read them too.