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Serendipity Market
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Serendipity Market

3.8 5
by Penny Blubaugh
 

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When Toby breathes on Mama Inez's bird-shaped invitations, giving them the power to fly, plans for the Serendipity Market begin. Soon, eleven honored guests travel from afar and make their way to the storytellers' tent to share their stories. Each tale proves what Mama Inez knows—that magic is everywhere. Sometimes it shows itself subtly—a ray of sun

Overview

When Toby breathes on Mama Inez's bird-shaped invitations, giving them the power to fly, plans for the Serendipity Market begin. Soon, eleven honored guests travel from afar and make their way to the storytellers' tent to share their stories. Each tale proves what Mama Inez knows—that magic is everywhere. Sometimes it shows itself subtly—a ray of sun glinting on a gold coin, or a girl picking a rose without getting pricked by the thorn—and sometimes it makes itself known with trumpets and fireworks. But when real magic is combined with the magic of storytelling, it can change the world.

This is a breathtaking debut novel written with elegance and grace.

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Entertaning, freshly told, and ripe for readalouds."
Chris Lynch
"SERENDIPITY MARKET reveals itself to be what we all strive to do: universal tale spinning, gorgeous writing."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Entertaning, freshly told, and ripe for readalouds.”
Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
From her house with the witch's hat roof at the end of the world, Mama Inez sends invitations to select storytellers to perform at the Serendipity Market in an effort to restore balance to the Earth's spin. Among those who respond positively are the lizard who became Cinderella's footman and the twin elves who assisted the shoemaker. Each of the stories has its roots in the magic of traditional literature, but each also has a slight twist from the familiar. Jack sells the giants' beans to someone else who is not so greedy. A gay prince is pleased when after many princesses fail the test of a pea under a stack of mattresses, a handsome prince passes. Each of the stories may be read independently but all tie together through the magic of Mama Inez. This small book is a lovely tribute to the power of story and magic in the world. Some readers may find the mild profanity objectionable. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson
VOYA - Kelly Czarnecki
Mama Inez sends out invitations that fly awat from her house—the one at the end of the world—and into the hands of guests. Most respond in the affirmative and show up next Saturday to tell their stories. Mama Inez initiates this gathering because the spin of the world is off, and she wants to set it right. What follows are short retellings of fairytales and poems such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, Little Red Riding Hood, and more. The storytelling itself is very rich and entertaining. In the story, The Carter House, teenager Maisie describes the Fey Queen's smile as, "With that vague threat echoing in the night, she smiled, a smile as chill as the night, a smile that never reached her eyes." The descriptions of the characters and their feelings will linger with readers. Although many characters are adults, young readers will recognize the fairytales or at least enjoy the touch of magic that is in each, with a cast including mermaids, fairies, and giants. Solid plot lines and modern retellings will help youth not feel as if they are being told a children's story. Readers will likely find themselves in one of the nine stories told whether it be a story of love, courage, or kindness. Reviewer: Kelly Czarnecki
Kirkus Reviews
In this debut storytelling tour de force, Blubaugh repackages familiar folk- and fairy-tale themes with contemporary verve and wit. When the omniscient Mama Inez discovers "the spin of the world is off," she invites special guests to the Serendipity Market to help her balance it with their fantastical stories. Speaking in the first-person, each guest tells a tale in which astute readers will recognize traditional characters and motifs, albeit with a modern twist or fresh perspective. Disenchanted coachman Lizard recounts the Cinderella story from his reptilian viewpoint. Traveler elves Naddie and Earl relate how they developed a symbiotic relationship with the village cobbler. Gay Prince Zola remembers finding his true love after a sleepless night on a pile of mattresses. Rosey tells how she barely escaped from a sexual predator en route to Gran's house. These and other stories blend the magical and the mundane as well as the familiar and the foreign. Together they offer memorable storytellers, magical tales and marvelous language that should indeed help balance the world. (Fantasy. 12 & up)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Entertaining, freshly told, and ripe for readalouds.”
ALA Booklist
“This beautiful novel will be a delight to those who enjoy spin-offs of fairy tales and folktales.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Entertaning, freshly told, and ripe for readalouds.”
—Chris Lynch
“SERENDIPITY MARKET reveals itself to be what we all strive to do: universal tale spinning, gorgeous writing.”
—Chris Lynch
“SERENDIPITY MARKET reveals itself to be what we all strive to do: universal tale spinning, gorgeous writing.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061468759
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/03/2009
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

Chris Lynch
“SERENDIPITY MARKET reveals itself to be what we all strive to do: universal tale spinning, gorgeous writing.”

Meet the Author

Penny Blubaugh is a writer, librarian, and former flight instructor. She received her MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband and dreams of living at the End of the World in a house with a witch's-hat roof. Serendipity Market is her first novel and was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book.

Customer Reviews

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Serendipity Market 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
SpartanReading More than 1 year ago
Serendipity Market is about a woman with magical powers named Mama Inez. She lives in a small house at the end of the world with a dog and two kids, Roberto and Franz. Every once in a while, she holds a gathering where people come from all over the place to tell their stories to help the world stay in balance. Every person's story is based on some sort of fairytale or folktales, but each story has a twist. I gave this book a 2 out of 5 stars because there were some interesting parts but some that were boring. First of all, there was a lot of detail left out. I had to go back and re-read some parts because I was confused on what was going on. I just felt that the author could have expanded more on her writing. Also, there were some characters that appeared to be important in the beginning but then were never mentioned much after. These characters, Roberto and Franz, had some sort of relationship to Mama Inez and were present in the first couple of chapters. As I got further into the book though, they were only mentioned twice and it was very brief. I was curious if they had developed their powers they were trying to find in the beginning. Another thing I didn't like about the book was the lack the characters' physical description. I couldn't really picture any of the characters. I had no idea what some of the characters looked like. It would have made the book a lot more enjoyable for me if there were more character description. On the other hand, what I liked about the book was the twist on the fairy tales and folktales. It really made the book interesting to see how a story could have turned out if the main character had a different point of view on something. I would recommend this book for girls ages 10-14. Since this book featured fairy tales, I think it is geared more toward girls. The stories within the book had happy endings where the main character got what they wanted. A few stories were also based on princesses, which is definitely a more girly theme. I would recommend this book to younger girls because I thought the reading level of the book was easy. The vocabulary used wasn't difficult and the book wasn't mature enough for someone older. Overall, Serendipity Market was not my favorite book, but I think if I had liked the whole magic and “happily ever after” theme, I would have enjoyed it.
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