Saturday, November 25, 2017

Abby in Wonderland (Whatever After #10.5)

Mlynowski, Sarah. Abby in Wonderland (Whatever After #10.5)
September 12th 2017 by Scholastic Press
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

In this "Special Edition", Abby has a somewhat new adventure; she's at a friend's house with a piece of Maryrose's mirror in her pocket, and falls down Alice's rabbit hole with three of her friends from school. Since she's never fallen into an actual author's story before (only folk or fairy tales), she's surprised to find herself in Lewis Carroll's tale! The friends she is with are Frankie, Robin, and Penny, whom is someone Abby isn't very fond of. Abby is worried that Penny is trying to steal Robin from her, and Penny is fairly mean to Abby, since she is probably worried about losing Robin to Abby. When Frankie is lost in Wonderland, the three remaining girls have to deal with the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and other characters from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland while looking for her. They run afoul of the Queen of Hearts and have to escape her clutches as well. In the end, the girls do manage to get back, and even figure out a bit of a mystery for Maryrose.

This had several interesting twists for this series. I did enjoy the fact that the difference between a fairy tale and a literary tale was pointed out; it will be interesting to see if perhaps Abby and Jonah travel into some of Hans Christian Andersen's stories in later books! The fact that the Alice only has one path, as opposed to the different versions that fairy tales can have, made the girls pay close attention to what they remembered from both the book and the Disney movie version, and there were a lot more details from the story than there were in other volumes of this series.

I also liked the fact that Abby wasn't in the adventure with her brother and dog, but had three of her associates from school with her. The friendship triangle is a HUGE problem for late elementary and middle school students, and it is something many readers will have had personal experiences with. Penny, with her mansion, nanny, and absent parents, is a bit over the top, but who else could steal Robin away from Abby? Frankie is delighfully scatter brained, and Abby is tense not only becasue of Robin but also because she doesn't know how to explain the adventure to her friends!

Twisted fairy tale stories are always in demand, and this jaunt into literary fiction opens up the series to many other avenues. Will Abby visit the prairie with Laura? Go to Prince Edward Island with Anne? This would be a good way to introduce young readers to some classic books in a fairly painless way. Hand this to readers who like this series, Buckley's The Fairy Tale Detectives, or even Townley's The Great Good Thing, where a reader is able to enter a book.

Ms. Yingling

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