REVIEW: FINDING SERENDIPITY, BY ANGELICA BANKS

91lp7tdjZjL._SL1500_Finding Serendipity
Written by Angelica Banks, with illustrations by Stevie Lewis
Published by Henry Holt & Co., February 2015

Writing is a magical thing. It transports you to a different world, one where anything that happens is determined by your imagination, and thus, by definition means anything could happen, if you so choose it to. As writers go, each has their own process to the same destination: The End.

Finding Serendipity is a story that inspires, and celebrates, the process of writing, and one that does so in a way that provides accessibility for its ideal audience, kids of the age 8-12.

The heroine, Tuesday McGillycuddy, likes to think of herself as an ordinary girl, with an extraordinary mother, Serendipity Smith. Serendipity is an author of epic standing, similar in stature to JK Rowling, who must disguise herself to protect their privacy, and spends a lot of time away promoting her books or in her writing room upstairs. Tuesday deals with her mom’s absences, but looks forward to spending time with her each time she finishes a book. One day, when her mother is late joining them for dinner, Tuesday discovers that her mother has vanished, and is pulled (literally) into a quest to find her. Throughout her journey, she discovers that she is a little bit extraordinary too.

Angelica Banks (in fact a writing team, made up of Danielle Wood and Heather Rose) delivers a compelling plot with high stakes, complete with pirates, adventure, and magic. Banks draws the reader into the story through empathetic characters, and well written action sequences that propel the story forward. The pictorial accompaniment effectively captures a child’s point-of-view and imagination. All of this is punctuated with the wordplay employed by Tuesday’s family, often in couplets; this endearing practice provides a window into the essence of creativity: Spontaneity and fun.

Reading this book may very well change a young person’s perspective and expectation of the writing process, shifting it from work to play, perhaps even challenging them to try their hand at a story. If not, it will still provide a fantastical suspension of disbelief which will keep them occupied for a few hours, if they can put it down at all.

If you haven’t already, add Finding Serendipity to your summer reading list!

-R.B.


Kinderlit.ca requested and received a copy of Finding Serendipity in return for an honest review. Read about our review policy HERE.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s