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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Ana Juan, Catherynne M. Valente



September is a twelve year old girl living in Nebraska during the war. Her mother works in a factory and often has to leave her while her father is a soldier. The Green Wind offers her a chance to travel to the fairyland. My Chihuahua looked at me accusingly that she'd prefer to leave the small dog and go to fairyland. [Would I leave him to go to fairyland? You bet!]

The small dog's breed is never mentioned but the constant mention of tea-cups made me envision a Chihuahua.


I found myself delighted more and more as I progressed through this book. I knew this book was a kindred spirit but the interview with the author confirmed it. Valente was bothered by the ending of films like "Labyrinth", The Oz books, Alice, etc. when the heroines always wanted to return home to their own worlds. This book is written for all of us who read to escape the drudgery of the real world and crave fantasy and adventure.

I loved the '80s flick "Return to Oz" for this very reason. The movie has Dorothy regretting her decision to leave Oz while Labyrinth did have that great ending where Sarah chose her friends. The adult me would not give up that end with needing her friends but can live with her turning down Jareth. My childhood self could not forgive her turning him down.


This book read as a love letter to all of the fantasy greats without being redundant.

This book was written for anyone who loves fantasy adventures for the friendships rather than the sword fights and battle.