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4.1 300
by Marissa Burt

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In the land of Story, kids go to school to learn to be the perfect character: a brave Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They dream of the day when they will live out Tales written just for them.

But when an ordinary girl named Una Fairchild finds herself Written In to Story, she discovers that the magical land is threatened by a dark


In the land of Story, kids go to school to learn to be the perfect character: a brave Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They dream of the day when they will live out Tales written just for them.

But when an ordinary girl named Una Fairchild finds herself Written In to Story, she discovers that the magical land is threatened by a dark secret. As she digs deep into Story's shadowy past, Una realizes that she is tied to the world in ways she never could have imagined—and it may be up to her to save it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Burt debuts with an appealing fantasy built on the book-visiting daydreams of diehard readers. The life of chronically overlooked fosterling Una Fairchild, age 12, changes when she discovers a book with her name on the cover and begins to read. She wakes up in the world of Story inside the book, where she meets Peter, a Hero-in-training at a school where everyone is learning to be characters in the timeless Tales. But all is not well in Story—the Muses who once wrote the Tales are defeated and dead, and the tyrannical Talekeepers now control all books and information. Una and Peter’s determination to find out what’s in the hidden books lands them in the middle of a brewing revolution in which characters tired of rehashing the stereotypical Tales seek their Backstory and their freedom. Burt’s concept isn’t unique, but her strong writing and interesting characters make Una’s journey enjoyable. The fantasy elements and meta-references are engaging, and the overall result will have readers on the lookout for the planned sequel. Ages 8–12. Agent: Laura Langlie, Laura Langlie Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Greta Holt
A strange boy will not allow the orphan Una Fairchild to take her usual seat in the basement of the school's library, where she escapes to read at lunch. She finds another desk and a book titled, "The Tale of Una Fairchild." Suddenly, Una is transported to the Land of Story, where she meets Lord Peter, Lady Snow, and other students who are training to become characters in books. Una discovers that she has been written into the story and that she is in danger. To protect her identity, Peter tells the evil talekeeper, Elton, that Una is his cousin from another school. Una attends school with Peter, where she takes classes such as Heroics and Villainy along with talking cats and every manner of fantasy character. The Muses, the Enemy, the Enemy's minions, and the Resistance add color and invention. Burt's imagination leads readers into a complicated plot, in which Una and Peter try to discover the mysteries, and uncover the lies, of Story. A revelation about Una's parentage comes at the end, but so does the surprise that this book is "to be continued...." Readers may be more satisfied knowing that Storybound will continue before they have read the 400 plus pages. The pacing is a bit uneven: some sections are devoted to providing copious amounts of information to further complicate the plot and its abundance of characters, while other sections are action-packed, and even violent, including torture. Point-of-view shift and augment characters' motivations and needs, although the sheer quantity of characters dictates the amount of time that can be spent developing each role. Middle grade readers will empathize with the spunky Una, the heroic Peter, and the mysterious Indy. Reviewer: Greta Holt
Kirkus Reviews
A 12-year-old girl finds herself to be an illegitimate visitor to the land of Story in this debut middle-grade fantasy. While in the basement of her school library, foster child Una Fairchild stumbles into a tale all about herself and a world where people practice to be characters in books--hero, villain or sidekick. When Una discovers that she has only been "Written In" to their universe for some mysterious reason, making her very existence precarious, a tumult of clandestine and protective activity ensues. Along the way she befriends a compassionate boy named Peter and an erratic girl named Snow. Meanwhile, Talekeepers spy, Muses are stifled and the Enemy lurks. Books and their supporters are in danger at every turn. In this allegory told by an omniscient narrator, the proceedings are often heavy-handed, and the limited character development can make it challenging to care about the fates of all involved. Yet readers who love fantasy may see an opportunity to snuggle up with a cup of cocoa and unravel the plot, which twists and turns in on itself, with happy surprises. While the novel doesn't reach the heights to which it clearly aspires--Harry Potter, Inkheart, A Wrinkle in Time--its high concept could have cinematic potential, with deeper character development and less contrivance. (Fantasy. 8-12)
“A richly imagined world. Readers will enjoy the mind-bending fun of puzzling together small details.”
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Having grown up in foster homes and feeling as though she never quite belonged, Una Fairchild is not too distraught when she is transported to the land of Story (by a book, of course), a place populated by characters from fairy tales, folklore, and fiction. With the help of Peter, who is studying to be a Hero, and Sam, a talking cat, Una discovers that she has been "Written In." Until she figures out who wrote her in, and why, she is in danger-and so are all of the Tales of Story. With its unique twist (her roommate, for example, is a snooty Snow White), Una's adventures should charm those who enjoy fairy-tale reboots, and the cliff-hanger ending could ensure demand for a sequel.—Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Peachtree Montessori International, Ann Arbor, MI

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Marissa Burt was forever getting notes sent home from teachers about reading novels during class. She grew up in Oregon and now lives in the Seattle area with her husband and three sons. Marissa is also the author of Storybound and Story's End.

Customer Reviews

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Storybound 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 299 reviews.
Ladonna2 More than 1 year ago
To the person with review titled (and everyone else that complains): ANOTHER KIDS BOOK!!! You should not rate down the book just because you do not like the Free Nook Book Friday selection this week. It's not fair to the authors or to the readers. When I see a book with lower then 4 stars, I turn away. Maybe I shouldn't because of old farts like you that either spams the comments or complain that you did like the Free Nook Book Friday selection. They have to mix it up sometimes! I don't think they would have kids books if kids didn't have a nook. Beggars cannot be choosers. And by the way go back to grade school for a lesson in grammar. Barnes and noble you should start reviewing the reviews before you let people post them. Swearing should not be tolerated either especially on a children's book. Spamming and comments that do not make sense whatsoever shouldn't be tolerated either. As for the book it is a really good book. My little sister is read this and she is enjoyed it. :)
booksaresanity More than 1 year ago
A great read for any age! I loved this middle grade book! The story swept me away to another world right from the beginning! Una finds a book and opens it. Inside it says The Tale of Una Fairchild. That is her! She begins to read the book and soon she finds herself in the story! I love the land of Story and all of the characters who live there! The element of mystery was wonderful and I found myself reading and reading! For a 400 plus page book, it went by so fast! There was a twist that I never saw coming and endearing characters that I can’t wait to read more about! I hope that Marissa Burt is writing fast because I need to find out what happens in book two! An awesome read that will leave you wanting more, Storybound is a must read for a kid or adult of any age!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There will always be people who aren't happy with what is given away on Free Fridays. Please try to refrain from using inappropriate language ESPECIALLY when a childrens book is offered. If it's a book you don't care for, it's quite simple to deal with....go find a FREE BOOK IN THE OVER ONE MILLION FREE SELECTIONS OFFERED BY B&N IN THE SHOP SECTION! Very easy, very simple. Or if you feel the need to complain, please go do so in the proper place, not on a books review page, the author doesn't doesn't deserve your unnecessary wrath. My 9yr old and I both are enjoying this book TOGETHER and can't wait to finish so we can get the next! B&N gave it away just in time for the next to come out! CBsBrighteyes (Thinking people should be required to be logged in, then maybe the nonsense posts would be cut down, for some reason, even though I'm logged in, it always shows anonymous but I'll put my username anyways)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey, i'm a kid. That's why they do these free,for kids to read and enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't understand the fuss over free fridays. I read the kids books, they are refreshing. They are easy and fast reads. I will be reading the sequel to this book. Just a fun book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is AMAZING!!! I loved it!! It was a little slow at first but as I got into it, it just got better and better! This book is a treasure!! I loved the storyline and I thought that it was pretty easy to follow. I instantly fell in love with all of the characters admiring all of their strengths and weaknesses. I liked how every once in a while you would read the book from a different characters perspective, but not too much to where it would get confusing. All in all, I loved this book and I can't wait for it's sequel Story's End to come out on April 2!!!!
Caroline94501 More than 1 year ago
Please, people unhappy with the B&N Free Friday choices, *PLEASE* be respectful to the author and not give a review of B&N's choices. It is not the author's fault you don't like what B&N decides to put out. I have not finished the book, but what I've read so far is totally delightful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing it has so much imagination, this book is amazing! Anyone who wants to be swept in to a book that has talking animals, evil enchantresses, and plants with attitudes then this is a need to read book! I cant wait for the next one i am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im in my late 40's and i do love these type of books... Never lose you're imagination.... sometimes what you " think" is your imagination isnt.... Have Fun :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive already read this book and its sooooooo good!!!!! Definitely read it!!!!!!!
heav More than 1 year ago
Thank you B&N for another great free book for my kid to read, and I will read as well!  Book readers come in all ages!  Awesome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!!you should really read this book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To the anonymous "Another kids book!!!" If you only bought the reader for the free books, and are complaining about what B&N shows on their page, I have only two things to say. 1. Do some searching on your own. There is plenty of free material - including classic literature - available even without leaving B&N's site, and more if you go to sites like Project Gutenberg, or your local library. And 2, they are being offered *free.* You have to pay nothing for them. So why are you complaining? What has it cost you other than a few seconds to look at the page? You claim to be an adult. Please act like one. Even if you choose to remain anonymous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to laugh when I read the reviewer calling complainers old and complaining about their grammer and punctuation.She made as many, if not more errors, then the people, she was complaining about. I read this book to my grands a while back, a few chapters at a time and we all enjoyed it. Books like this one have endured for decades and are still enjoyed fondly today. Three books which come to mind are Alice in Wonderland, Alice, Through The Looking Glass and the Neverending Story. Perhaps years from now this will be considered a classic as well. I am glad B&N gives a selection of books for all its readers. No one can be pleased all the time. I would like to see an assortment of genres offered on free Fridays allowing the reader to choose ONE book which appeals to him/her. Another option would be a questionaire, to be filled out by the reader and the selected genres offered on Free Fridays. Both of these options would stop or reduce the complaining. I am sure even then there would be complaing about the age, length or author of the offered book. Some people just like to complain. This book is recommended for ages four and up. I know four year olds can not read this complex of a book, but an older reader could read it to them. It is a nice clean book and very enjoyable. I am looking forward to a reread. AD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am looking forward to reading this book when I get a day of nothing having to be done. The positve reviews make this a promising read for my imagination to be used in a delightful way :-) @Anonymous April 5, 2013 (REAL READING)...try going to the B&N site, enter 0.00 into the search bar and you will find hundreds of free books to choose from. This is just info that I have read of from many posted comments of other free Friday reads...or simply contact B&N via Blog/site point of contact about your frustration in a more mature manner. The 0.00 free books' search will most likely help you find books of your preferred reading genre(s).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good so far. I can't put it down. I'm still figuring out why Una was Written In. The letters that Elton dropped in the diner might have the answer. The little boy the letters was Written In too. I wonder who his tutor was. He kept on telling, and tempting the little boy to read the book. Maybe he was a Muse.
JoAnWMartin More than 1 year ago
I had to skip some of the twists and turns. It was a pleasure to get to the end. So much same old, same old. Clever idea to land in a storyland and meet storybook characters, but other than that, not worth my time. I can't imagine children sitting still for so much detail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you BN for putting up THIS GREAT BOOK that these old farts have never even read, let alone TO their children or grandchildren.  Instead, they complain about FREE offerings like you owe them something.  I loved the Demi-Monde which you offered earlier this spring along with Driftless and A Place Called Armageddon, or Everybody's Daughter.  None of which were kids books or romance and I reviewed on it's merit after READING it.  Release what you like, it's free and you certainly have no obligation to do so. I for one appreciate your well rounded selection cycles.  I have a better memory than some it seems.  I certainly don't have a burning desire to read EVERY book you post but you can't please everyone all the time.  I will patiently wait my turn for another good book that appeals to my interest.  In the mean time, I have other books to attend to that I actually, crazy enough, Paid for!  I know it's a wacky concept these days, but I''m not THAT cheap. :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reaally good
ireadeverythingMI More than 1 year ago
Cool imaginative book! I'm in my 50's too and I enjoyed it! It's an easy read, and it's good for the mind! It's quite a clever book! I hope that others will OPEN THEIR MIND a bit and quit moaning. GEEZ! I don't care what the others think..here's what will happen..to you losers out there..Keep complaining and we wont have ANY Free Friday books at all! So stop the whining and move on with your sad pitiful life! BUY a few books if you don't like FREE ones. THANK YOU THANK YOU Barnes and Noble for Free Fridays! i LOOK FORWARD TO EACH FREE FRIDAY BOOK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok. The concept was interesting and the overall book was good. I wonder when the sequel comes out!
MaTwosey More than 1 year ago
This story is aimed at middle schoolers. The characters are cute and funny. The story is interesting and original. My only peeve it that it isn't a stand alone novel. The end is to be continued.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good short read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good read. Starts off slow, but then grabs your attention. Too many characters to keep up with and can be a bit confusing to follow. Overall, I enjoyed it, but was disappointed by the "To be continued" ending. The author could have come up with a better way to conclude the story and still excite the reader into wanting to purchase the sequel. To be continued is a such a poor ending. Shame on the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree that people should read and review the book. Please go to barnes and nobles customer service or blog to complain about something that cost you nothing but the time it took you to embarrass yourself. The book was really an interesting read. My 11yr old niece enjoyed it as well. We look forward to reading the next book in the series. I thank B&N for encouraging young readers to enjoy different books. I like to keep an open mind and heart.