Book: Tilly and the Book Wanderers (Pages & Co. 1) by Anna James
Release Date: October 1st 2018
Tags: Middle Grade / Fantasy / Book Store / Anne of Green Gables / Alice in Wonderland / Sherlock Homes / The Little Princess / Disability / Dyslexia
Trigger Warnings: Suggested Child Abandonment.
Eleven year-old Tilly has lived above her grandparents’ bookshop ever since her mother disappeared shortly after she was born. Like the rest of her family, Tilly loves nothing more than to escape into the pages of her favourite stories.
One day Tilly realises that classic children’s characters are appearing in the shop through the magic of `book wandering’ – crossing over from the page into real life.
With the help of Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago, so she bravely steps into the unknown, unsure of what adventure lies ahead and what dangers she may face
With a series title as Pages & Co. it was for sure meant to capture my attention. As I have been giving myself more room to read middle grade it didn’t take me too long to read this book after the Dutch translation was released this year.
Matilda is a bit of a bookworm who lives with her grandparents. Her father died and her mother left shortly after her birth, leaving her to be a bit of an orphan. Luckily her grandparents own a bookstore where she enjoys spending most of her time. She has always thought that her grandparents had been honest with her about her mother and who she was. But then strange things start to happen. She starts seeing characters from her favorite books around the bookstore. And then is when it all starts.
This first installment of Pages & Co is just a lovely charming read. Matilda will be familiar to young and old amongst us, finding bits of herself in her. Her love of reading, of wanting to dive into a book to hide away. And maybe even her sense of adventure. Because she has some of that. The new friend she makes along the way I appreciated as he is not a big reader as he admitted himself. It was never a thing of you have to read more or being made a big problem that he was dyslectic. It just was the way it was and Matilda was just going to help him figuring out the right book to read for school. I think it is great for kids to be able to see that in a book too. It didn’t leave him out of the story either.
The idea that you can go wander into books is just an idea that really lives with a lot of us and why I found it so enjoyable. It was great to see Alice from Alice in Wonderland come to life or to see a bit of the world of Anne of Green Gables. It was fun. My only complaint in this region is that while I do appreciate all the classics (and I 100% understand why these were the books she wandered into), I kind of wish more newer books were at least mentioned or hinted at besides Harry Potter. I’d imagine not every kid cares to read the classics.
There is also one more thing that bothered me and that made me dock half a point. It’s a bit of a personal thing. As Matilda was sharing the story of her mom to us it was mentioned that her mom was thought to have left her of PPD. It was an incredible casual mention that was a 100% unnecessary.
You can read a little more of my thoughts on that in my short twitter thread.
So a few thoughts regarding Pages & co. I’m about 50% in and while i am really liking it there is one thing that got me. Its too small to be a trigger but i guess it kind of was for me. The casualness with which ppd got dropped in this Mg fora sentence.
— 🐉 Annemieke 💙 (@Signourney) 10 mei 2019
Other than that I just truly enjoyed this book loving middle grade and would highly recommend this to you all.