The Forbidden Library kicks off a brand new classic fantasy series perfect for fans of Coraline, Inkheart, and The Books of Elsewhere
Alice always thought fairy tales had happy endings. That--along with everything else--changed the day she met her first fairy
When Alice's father goes down in a shipwreck, she is sent to live with her uncle Geryon--an uncle she's never heard of and knows nothing about. He lives in an enormous manor with a massive library that is off-limits to Alice. But then she meets a talking cat. And even for a rule-follower, when a talking cat sneaks you into a forbidden library and introduces you to an arrogant boy who dares you to open a book, it's hard to resist. Especially if you're a reader to begin with. Soon Alice finds herself INSIDE the book, and the only way out is to defeat the creature imprisoned within.
It seems her uncle is more than he says he is. But then so is Alice.
"Will gratify book lovers and fantasy experts alike."
"Fans of Harry Potter and Cornelia Funke's Inkheart (2003) will relish that the library houses magical books . . . It's a joy to watch the dutiful Alice develop her innate curiosity and become a proactive, resourceful heroine, matching wits with snarky cats, dangerous beasts, and a certain smug boy. This is a charming, adventuresome fantasy from a promising new author."
Lonely Alice rushes to greet her father one evening only to overhear a bizarre conversation between him and a large, buzzing fairy. This strange encounter sets off a series of events, including her father’s death at sea and a suddenly orphaned Alice being sent to live with a heretofore unknown uncle. Her uncle’s home is foreboding, with a forbidden library on its grounds, a building that seems to house answers to some of Alice’s pressing questions, but also mysteries and magic. With a talking cat and a lost boy as companions, Alice discovers that she is a Reader, one who can enter stories, but must fight to the death to get back out. The Forbidden Library marks Wexler’s children’s literature debut. There is much familiar territory in this tale: orphaned heroine, mysterious library, books coming to life. For middle grade readers or young teens newly interested in fantasy, this will be an easy-to-access story. For more nuanced readers, the predictability of the plot and the uneven pacing will be problematic. Give to readers who enjoy Lemony Snicket’s dark humor or those looking for a new fantasy series with a mild edge. Reviewer: Katie Mitchell; Ages 11 to 14.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Alice is sent to live with her Uncle Geryon after her father's ship goes down in a storm. She's never heard of this man and doesn't know what to expect when she arrives at his mansion. The only instruction she is given is to avoid the library. Left to her own devices, she meets a talking cat named Ashes, and Isaac, a boy who challenges her to open a book from the forbidden library. Giving in to temptation, she picks one up, finds herself trapped inside it, and must fight her way out. Along the way, Alice learns about the secrets that surrounded her father and the truth about Uncle Geryon. Every character she meets has a hidden agenda and so she must be careful whom she trusts. Alice questions everything she has been told and has to figure out everyone's motives, ultimately relying on her wits to survive. Each chapter ends on a cliff-hanger, and eerie illustrations enhance the story. This novel is reminiscent of Corneila Funke's Inkheart (Scholastic, 2003) and Neil Gaiman's Coraline (HarperCollins, 2002). Wexler ingeniously creates an inventive world with interesting creatures and frightening situations. The ending will leave children with many questions, as a sequel is strongly implied.—H. Islam, Brooklyn Public Library
Being a Reader comes with significant challenges in this fantasy filled with ever-changing library stacks, enchanted books and talking cats. Late one night, 12-year-old Alice Creighton stumbles upon her father in conversation with a threatening fairy. Next thing she knows, her dad is off to Buenos Aires on a steamer ship that mysteriously goes down in a freak storm. Now an orphan, she is sent to live with her uncle Jerry, aka Geryon, who happens to have an unusual and off-limits library that harbors a coveted book and creatures that may explain what really happened to Mr. Creighton. There, she meets the boy Isaac, a Reader, who has the power to enter books and interact with the creatures within them, and discovers that she's a Reader, too. She is also given the opportunity to apprentice herself to Geryon, which she takes in a desperate effort to find her father. Alice proves to be an active and intelligent heroine who adeptly pulls compatriot and rival Isaac out of more than one potentially fatal challenge. Vaguely reminiscent of Harry Potter, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Inkheart all rolled into one, it's good fun, if a tad light on character transformation and sagging a bit in the middle. Working in the grand tradition of children's fantasy, Wexler's off to a promising start. (Fantasy. 10-14)
Alice flipped the cover open and looked down at the first page. It was a solid block of text, but the characters were in a language she didn’t recognize, all strange curls and crossed lines. There was something off about them, as though they were out of focus, and she felt herself going cross-eyed. Then the print moved, with a crawling sensation that seemed to go straight from the page to the back of her eyeballs, and formed itself into familiar English words.
“Wait a minute—” Ashes said.
Alice opened her eyes in another place entirely. It was dark after the brightness of Isaac’s fire