The exciting follow-up to Mightier Than the Sword, the humorous and fantastical interactive middle-grade novel which needs you, the reader, to get in on the action!
The second book set in Astorya places you back in the driver's seat. You're a real human being (we assume), and in this fictional world, that makes you a superhero. Armed with your trusty pencil, you have the power to create. What you write, draw, or scribble in the book becomes part of the story!
With Queen Rulette gone, and Astorya returning to normal, you decide to journey to Astorya's Other Side, a place of monsters and mayhem, to hide the original Original forever. Surely nothing bad could happen to Astorya's precious document there, right? But when the plan goes awry and digital doppelgangers are unleashed on the world, once again only you can save the day.
Write, draw, and puzzle your way through a hilarious adventure story that is unique to every reader! And, most importantly, prove that the pencil is mightier than the sword.
About the Author
Drew Callander and Alana Harrison are a married couple currently living in Ireland with a background in improv comedy. Alana graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in Comedic Writing and Performance, and for over seven years worked as Amy Poehler's personal and creative assistant, developing scripts and performing shows with her. As a writer and performer, her credits include Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Upright Citizens Brigade, Story Pirates, and the film Baby Mama. A frequent animator of short cartoons for the web and with several scripts written for the stage, radio, and screen, Drew Callander has created cartoons and short films with Jon Stewart, Conan O'Brien, John Oliver, Kristen Schaal, Nick Offerman, and Cheri Oteri. Together, their work as performers and writers has aired on Sirius XM Radio, MSNBC, NBC, and Comedy Central, and Drew's podcast Orbiting Human Circus is currently a popular one on iTunes. Mightier Than the Sword is their first full-length middle-grade novel.
Ryan Andrews lives in the Japanese countryside, with his wife, two kids, and their dog, Lucky. A friendly Kodama or two have been known to take up residence in the giant acorn tree that shades the house. Ryan often works at his drawing desk in the early-morning hours, to the sound of rummaging wild boar and badgers, who come from the surrounding forest seeking out shiitake mushrooms and fallen chestnuts.
Read an Excerpt
What a nightmare,” whispers Manteau. Your little stoat friend sits on your shoulder. His black, beady eyes remain fixed on where the Fuchsia Plum Palace towered less than an hour ago. In its place swirls a vast gray smudge. From where you stand atop the GPS, you can see the entire sprawl of erasure it left behind.
“I know,” you say to your furry companion. Nightmare. That sums it up pretty well. You think of all that Queen Rulette forced you to endure. Her poofy attack poodles, her creepy portraits, her cake-filled party pit, her horrible singing, her dungeon slick with despair, her groveling lapdog Fwoofwoo, her fake laugh and thick makeup, and, of course, her legions of ruthless Rubots. Your leg still throbs from where one of them singed you with its fuchsia-plum laser.
“But at least it’s over,” you tell Manteau, shifting your weight off your injured leg. Rulette may have stolen your ride home, but thanks to you, she won’t be giving Astorya any more trouble. You can’t stop a smile from spreading across your lips. Against all odds, you saved the world.
“What?” he snaps. “Zee nightmare isn’t over! It’s right there!”
You realize the nightmare Manteau refers to isn’t Rulette, but the erasure you made when you erased her story. For the fictional, like your furry friend, erasure is death.
“I know you had no choice,” he says, “but just look at zat . . .” His little body shudders. “Quelle horreur! How could you?!”
“How could I?” you say, stung by his question. “Don’t you remember what she did to you?”
“Don’t remind me,” Manteau says. “You are zee one wiz zee bad memory. Not moi.”
“She erased you!” you say.
“I told you not to remind me!” he says.
“She was going to erase everything! Everyone! All of Astoria!”
“I know! I know!” he says, throwing his paws up in the air. “Rulette was a fiend and a coward! I’m glad she’s gone. Good riddance!”
“And . . . ?”
“And I, of course, am eternally grateful to you for writing me back to life. Zat goes wizout saying, non? You don’t need to rub it in! You don’t hear me rubbing it in about all zee times I saved your life, do you?”
“What do you mean ‘all the times’?” You only recall that one instance when he saved you from the Dust Bunnies.
“Exactement! You don’t hear me doing it!” He heaves out a sigh and looks at the erasure. “It’s just, zut alors, look at what you’ve done!”
You stare at the erasure. It seethes like a fresh wound, demanding attention. Its hurried, jagged edges bully the world away. Nothing fictional can survive its touch. Even the cool blue light of the blue moon recoils from it. Each slashing smudge oozes with the anger you felt as you erased Rulette’s story. You wanted to rub every trace of her out of Astorya. And it shows. You don’t regret it, but you can’t deny the hideousness of the aftermath.
From where you stand, the edge of the GPS looks like a dark horizon against the swirling erasure. The silhouettes of your friends stand out in stark contrast. Heads bowed, they search the ship’s surface for Originals.
“Found one!” Ember’s voice calls out into the night. Squinting, you can just make out the shape of the tiny ninja.
“Hey-ho!” you hear Prince S. rejoice from somewhere behind you. The other Couriers echo his call from across the surface of the ship.
“Let’s go see what she found,” you say.
“Ah oui!” The stoat perks up.
You take a bold and carefree step forward. Pain as sharp as the S. Word shoots through your leg from your laser wound.
“Ow!” you cry.
“Zee leg still giving you trouble, eh?” Manteau says. “Zat’s what happens when you go charging into danger. You always have to be zee brave one!”
“Would you prefer to still be in the dungeon right now?” you ask.
Avoiding the question, Manteau muses from atop your shoulder, “I hope Ember found zee story of Zee Little Cheese Dancer. I could not bear to lose zat one!” Whether that story concerns someone who dances on little cheeses or a little cheese that itself dances, you can’t say.
Soft as it might be, the ship’s stool surface offers little relief for your injured leg. As you take a few hobbling steps toward Ember with Manteau clinging to your shoulder, you hear a strong voice call out from behind.
The voice speaks with such command that it almost stops your heart along with your legs. You turn to see the intimidating form of Alicole, half winged horse, half lady sheriff, all Pegasus-centaur. As she gallops toward you, the blue moonlight shimmers on her majestic golden wings. “I cannot allow you to suffer your battle wounds,” she says, reaching down to you. “That would be no way to honor the savior of Astorya.”
Before you can reply, she throws you onto her back. Manteau clings to your neck to hang on.
“I have never seen Alicole take to someone like this.” The stoat’s whiskers tickle your ear as he speaks softly into it. “She must really like you.”
A plume of pride swells up inside you. This incredible, mythical, no-nonsense force of nature likes you. You marvel at how far you have come with her. It feels like just yesterday that she broke your pencil in half for erasing your car, and then looked at you like she wanted to break you in half, too. Vanquishing Rulette must have earned her forgiveness, even if you did have to use your eraser to do it. You wish Manteau could get over it as quickly.
Alicole trots forward with you and Manteau bobbing gently on her back. A glint of silver catches your eye. You look in its direction and see Nova. Her silver jumpsuit sparkles as she strides. For someone who should be gangly, being so tall and thin with such long legs and four arms of varying lengths, she moves with surprising grace. But you find everything about Nova surprising. She’s an alien. She can camouflage herself to the point of invisibility. And she’s basically a living supercomputer with a brain so powerful it can reach across space and right into the thoughts of others. She could even be reading your mind right now. Are you? you wonder. Wave if you are. No sooner do you think the thought than Nova smiles and waves in your direction with her second-longest arm.
“So cool,” you murmur, amazed at the powers of the femalien chamalien.
“I know,” Manteau replies. “Alicole has never offered me a ride.”
Before you can even consider clarifying what you meant to Manteau, a large dark form rushes into view. Startled, you jump. After a second, you realize that it’s just Larry, the giant dung beetle. You feel a little embarrassed, getting scared by him like that. You know Larry would never hurt you. He’s the most kindhearted and gentle of the Couriers, despite his unparalleled strength. Still, you can’t help flinching when an insect the size of a car takes you by surprise. And like a car, he speeds effortlessly over the ship’s surface. Dung beetles know how to move on dung.
You can’t say the same for Prince S.
“Almost there!” he calls out from somewhere behind you. You glance over your shoulder just in time to see him stumble over his buckled shoes and flooncy breeches. Funny to think that he’s the leader of the Couriers, since he strikes you as the least commanding of the group. When he’s not using the S. Word, he seems rather hapless. And not just because of his lack of physical fitness or the ridiculous clothing he wears, but because of his terrible memory. Now, you realize you have memory problems of your own, and you don’t fault Prince S. for not being able to remember his last name, but he often fails to remember the most crucial pieces of information as well, like the words to open the starway. You still find Prince S. gracious and charming, but you just wouldn’t want to go following him off the ends of the earth.
Up ahead, you see Larry reach the ninja first. Alicole picks up the pace and arrives not far behind. She kneels and you slide off her back. Manteau leaps off of your shoulder and bounds over to Ember’s side.
“Thanks, Alicole,” you say.
Nova steps up alongside you, followed by a winded Prince S.
“What story is it?” Larry asks the little ninja in his doughy, dopey voice.
“It’s impossible to read,” Ember says, studying the story in her hands. Those hands look so small and innocent, but you know they can magically generate fire and smoke whenever she pleases.
“Back away, everyone,” Prince S. commands, “we are blocking her light.”
“No,” Ember replies, “light won’t help.” She holds up the crap-caked page. “See?”
“How did you ever find it?” Manteau asks.
“I was close to the ground,” Ember says, “not riding around on someone’s shoulder.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Manteau says as he climbs back onto your shoulder. Ember watches him. Her judgment smolders beneath her ninja mask. You feel like you should apologize, even though you have no control over where Manteau decides to sit. Physically, Ember isn’t much more imposing than Manteau, but she definitely intimidates you the most of all the Couriers.
“I’ll take care of that for you,” the dung beetle says, and snatches the filthy sheet of paper. He plucks chunk after chunk off the story, dancing as he munches, making the flecks of copper and green on his black shell sparkle like fireworks.
Larry’s frolicking defuses the tension. You feel grateful that he smoothed over the brewing trouble between your friends. No one really wants to endure a spat between Ember and Manteau, however entertaining it might be.
Larry devours the last nasty morsel from the page and holds it aloft. It gleams in the blue moonlight. Everyone claps and you try not to think about what he just ate.
“Behold!” Prince S. cheers, waving his feathered hat. “Another Original redeemed from the false queen’s devilry!”
“It’s Galfalador,” Ember says, reading the title.
“The Onyx Unicorn of Splendidia!” Larry says excitedly.
“C’est bon,” Manteau says, “but zee search for Zee Little Cheese Dancer continues.”
“How many more stories are still missing?” you ask.
“We don’t know how many Rulette stole,” says Alicole, “nor how many her Rubots erased.”
“Nova, can you take a guess?” you ask. You can’t imagine Nova, with her big femalien brain, shying away from making a difficult calculation.
“You are correct to observe that I enjoy complex computations,” Nova says, reading your thoughts. “Analyzing my memory of the height and width of the story piles in Rulette’s dining hall shows the number of Originals left to collect to be approximately twelve thousand eight hundred two.”
While the figure Nova landed on does not give you much hope for rounding up the lost stories anytime soon, the fact that she can make that kind of estimate at all fills you with awe.
“And how many have we found already?” Ember presses.
“Exactly thirteen,” Nova says. Her color curdles to a sickly yellow.
“An auspicious beginning,” Prince S. says. “At this pace, we shall discover each and every one of . . . every one of . . . of . . . hmmm . . .”
The knit of Prince S.’s brow tightens as his eyes soften. You can imagine a mini Prince S. diving deep into his own mind, searching for the sunken treasure of whatever it was he was saying.
“I told you, it ain’t me!” You hear the unmistakable sound of Banjoe the banjo’s twangy voice approaching.
“You don’t bathe,” bellows Baron Terrain. “And the smell is intolerable.”
“Boss,” Banjoe pleads, “I swear, I don’t make smells! Banjos don’t even sweat!”
“When are we going to ditch those two?” Ember whispers.
“As soon as possible,” says Alicole. You can tell she would rather be blasting the two bandits with rainbolts, locking them up in her county jail, or otherwise thwarting their criminal minds than abiding their presence. You, however, don’t really mind them tagging along. While you find Banjoe and his songs mildly annoying, he’s occasionally entertaining. And Baron Terrain, though extremely full of himself (and there’s a lot of himself to fill), proved himself useful in battling the Rubots.
Baron Terrain sidles his mountainous body up to the group with his little musical sidekick close on his spurs.
“I apologize for my hench’s stench,” the Baron announces. “I know he stinks. Stinks so bad I can taste it.”
“You can smell him over the ship?” you ask. Your nose has grown so accustomed to the rank odor wafting up from the surface, you doubt you could smell even Grimy Jim right now.
“The ship?” The Baron’s voice drops.
“Yeah,” you say. “Haven’t you noticed?”
Baron Terrain looks down at the dark matter at his feet. His nose twitches, causing his stiff mustache to spasm. “You mean,” he quavers, “it’s true what they say? This ship is made of . . . of . . .”
“Poop!” Larry says proudly. “Isn’t it great?”
Baron Terrain’s face freezes in flabbergastation. He gingerly raises and lowers one of his mammoth feet and then the other, then lets out a high-pitched squeal—much higher than you thought a man of his size could produce.
“Get me off it!” he shrieks, flapping his beefy arms as if that might give him the ability to fly. He lobs himself at Alicole in a pathetic attempt to get on the Pegataur’s back.
“Don’t you dare!” Alicole shouts, rearing up on her powerful back legs. You can’t suppress a smile, thinking of how she just gave you a ride.
Baron Terrain looks around like a trapped animal and decides to clamber up onto Larry’s shiny carapace. Larry, too nice to protest, grunts under the Baron’s weight, but refrains from any other complaint.
“The Originals!” Prince S. declares, coming up for air from the depths of his mind. “That’s what I was saying! We must tarry no longer, there are Originals to be rescued!”
“Captain,” says Nova. “It is my assessment that the remainder of the Originals are inside the erasure.”
“Then all is lost!” Manteau says. “We cannot go in there.”
“But we cannot just stand idle,” Alicole says. “We are sworn to protect those stories. We must enter.”
“Entering would not be advisable,” Nova says, her skin shifting to the alarming orange of a traffic cone. “The erasure degrades and eventually destroys all fictional elements within its boundaries.”
“Wait one finger-pickin’ minute,” Banjoe says. “If them stories are in that there mess, how do you know they ain’t been destroyed?”
“Because they’re from the real world,” you say. “Right?”
“By my honor, you speak the bare truth!” says Prince S. “’Tis well known, but worth repeating, that the Couriers valiantly sail upon the Galick Sea to bring back these Original stories from your world so that they may come to life here in Astorya.”
“But the actual paper the stories are written on is real,” says Larry.
“Obviously,” Ember mutters, barely loud enough for you to hear. She seems even sulkier than she did in Rulette’s dungeon.
“And due to your success in Spielburg,” Nova says, rolling over Ember’s eye-rolling, “we know now that nonfictional items can survive the erasure.”
“Then I’ll have to go in there alone,” you say.
“But zat will take forever,” Manteau says.
He’s got a point. Twelve thousand eight hundred two is kind of a lot of stories. Not to mention your impaired mobility in there. You think back on your arduous journey through the erasure of Spielburg, how the foggy nothingness seeped into your pores and threatened to suffocate you until you realized you had the power to—
“Write!” The word leaps off your tongue. “I can write something to fill in the erasure!”
“C’est magnifique!” cheers Manteau. “Get rid of zat awful erasure!”
Green stripes of excitement race over Nova’s skin. “By writing a new story to replace the erasure,” she says, “we can all enter safely and retrieve the Originals.”
“Brilliant plan!” Prince S. declares. “A new setting!”
“Please!” says Baron Terrain, still teetering on Larry’s back. “Somewhere sanitary!”
“Yeah,” Larry adds, “somewhere with extra poop!”
“What’s sanitary about that?!” Baron Terrain yells.
“Everything!” The dung beetle bucks with glee, accidentally knocking the Baron off his shell and onto the GPS. BOOF! The bandit lands flat on his back and swings his limbs in a mad attempt to get up, but succeeds only in making a poo angel. He wails in exquisite agony.
Trying to block out the Baron’s hysteria, you narrow your mind to the question of what to write. You take out your pencil and remember that you lost your notebook when the Rubots erased High Yah and the mountain vanished beneath your feet. You fell into the Fanta Sea and your notebook sank to the bottom of that purple soda ocean. Too bad, you could really use something to write on right now. But you have another piece of paper, the one that once told the tale of Rulette’s tyranny, the one you erased. It seems only fitting that whatever replaces her terrible reign should be written on the same page.
“It should be a mountain o’ gold!” Banjoe shouts at you, sensing your hesitation. “With diamond crust!”
“Don’t listen to the bandit,” says Alicole. “His mind is riddled with greed. You should create a stronghold. A fortress.”
“A new High Yah,” Ember says.
“High Yah doesn’t belong in zee Margins,” says Manteau.
“Why not?” you ask.
“Zee Margins is a place for Doodlings,” he says. “Tic-tac-toe and zat kind of thing. You know, zee throwaways.”
Manteau’s words upset you. It seems like everyone in Astorya brushes off the Doodlings. But you can’t just brush them off. You remember how Rulette cruelly told them that they didn’t count because they didn’t have stories of their own. And yet, despite the abuse, despite their bleak and depressing existence, despite being forced to dwell in the Margins, they helped you. Maybe you can return the favor. Maybe you can write something for them that will make them feel important, like they belong.
“I know!” you say. “I’ll write a home for the Doodlings. A castle of their own!”
“A castle?” Manteau scoffs. “Zat sounds like a bit much for zee Doodlings.”
“If it weren’t for them,” you say, “there would be no Astorya right now.”
“Vraiment? Zee Doodlings?”
“Yeah. I couldn’t have gotten past Rulette’s attack poodles without them.”
Manteau shrinks at the realization of his own prejudice. “Oh. I did not know.”
“’Tis high time to give the Doodlings their due!” says Prince S.
“A palace for a palace.” Alicole smiles. “That’s fair.”
“You can make it the biggest doodle ever!” says Larry.
You ready your pencil.
In case you don’t remember how your superpower works (you do have amnesia, after all), you, the one reading this book, also get to write in this book. Don’t worry, you won’t get in trouble. We promise. And if you really want to make the Doodlings feel at home, fill in the margins with your own doodles. You can doodle the nouns and images from your story, or you can draw whatever you want: scribbles, symbols, furniture, musical notes, unflattering caricatures of prominent political figures. The more doodles, the merrier!
(FILL IN THE BLANKS)
In the Margins, where Rulette’s castle once stood, there is a(n) _________________________________ castle. It has _____________________________________________________ rooms. Doodlings from all over the Margins come there because it calls to them like a(n) _________________________________ , it makes them feel very _________________________________ , and they each get their own _________________________________ . There is a(n) _________________________________ dining hall in the center with a long table that can fit several _____________________________________ .
“Oooh!” Banjoe hoots. “There should be food! With dippin’ sauce!”
“The palace must be able to withstand any attack,” says Alicole.
“It needs someplace to train,” says Ember, “like a dojo.”
“Include a laboratory,” says Nova.
“A shower,” whimpers Baron Terrain.
“Ample verdure!” says Prince S.
“Huh?” you say.
“You know . . . ,” Manteau pipes up, “végétation. Foliage. Greenery. Plants?”
Sheesh. Talk about design by committee. You sigh, trying to accommodate all your friends’ suggestions.
It has a gym with a(n) _________________________________ where you can practice ___________________________________________ and a trampoline that you can _________________________________ up and down on. There’s a(n) _________________________________ laboratory with exploding beakers of _________________________________ . Many rooms are connected by slides and secret _________________________________ . There are all kinds of plants, such as fast-growing _________________________________ , _________________________________ trees, and flowering vines that smell like _________________________________ . There’s a pool shaped like a(n) _________________________________ that’s filled with _______________________________ . Every bedroom has its own ______________________________________ for ___________________________________________ . The walls are made of _________________________________ , so it can ________________________________ withstand any attacking _________________________________ .
Banjoe interrupts you by belting out a rather irritating little tune of his own creation. Apparently, his suggestion of adding dipping sauce to the new castle has inspired him. He circles you, hopping and plucking along on his belly as his voice twangs out:
“Wellllll, ain’t no cowboy without no hoss,
Ain’t no castle without no sauce!
When it comes to dippin’, it’s the boss,
You know I’m talkin’ ’bout dippin’ sauce!
When yer dippin’ and yer sippin’,
And yer fingers ye’ll be lickin’ and—”
“All right!” you shout. “I’ll add the sauce! Just stop!”
Banjoe clamps his mouth shut. You resume:
The banquet hall always has ________________________________ food with lots of dipping sauce, like ____________________________________ , ____________________________________ , and ____________________________________.
Castle Doodling looks like this:
(Doodle Your Doodling Home Above)
You look up from the page and see your awesome new setting before you. It has stamped out every trace of the erasure. Laying your eyes upon it fills you with warmth. Where once a place of horror stood now stands a place of happiness. No longer will the Doodlings feel marginalized with a home like this at the Edge of the World. And they’ve got a view of the Galick Sea right out the window. No doubt about it, you’ve created quite an impressive chunk of real estate.
“Bravo!” cheers Manteau, clapping his paws.
“You’ve authored such a wonder,” says Prince S., “it beggars all description.”
“A new day dawns for the Doodlings,” says Alicole.
Banjoe tugs at your pant leg. “Did you remember to put in the dippin’ sauce?” he asks, his teeny eyes full of hope.
“Yeah,” you say, “I did.”
“Yeehaw!” Banjoe hollers. “Then let’s get on over there and eat!”
Oh, right. Eating: that delightful activity that you have to do to stay alive. Your mouth floods in anticipation. With all the adventuring you have done, you have not had nearly enough to eat. You saved Astorya, you deserve a hero’s feast.
“A precipitous onset of caloric intake would be highly beneficial,” Nova says.
“Aye,” Prince S. says. An opening expands on the surface of the ship in front of him. “Be not the last one in or be a rotten quince cake!” He laughs and leaps inside.
“Into zee poop chute, everyone!” Manteau shouts with glee, springing off your shoulder. The little stoat dives headfirst into the hole.
“P-p-poop chute?” Baron Terrain, who has managed to scrape his quivering self up and out of his poo angel, blubbers at the news that his future holds yet more excreta. “No! I can’t. I can’t do it!”
“Don’t make us late, Baron,” Alicole snarls. “We have more important things to attend to than you.”
Alicole unfurls her wings and with a single stroke, lifts herself up off the ship and then swoops down inside. Ember somersaults through the air and flips into the hole. Nova lopes to the chute and slips in. Larry scampers over and drops himself down.
“Sorry, boss,” Banjoe says. “Gotta follow them goody-two-boots!” And before the Baron can even wipe enough of his tears out of his eyes to see, Banjoe takes his spindly little legs across the muck and jumps in.
Baron Terrain looks at you. His eyes, swollen with tears, glisten in the blue moonlight. He hardly seems like the brash criminal you met in Sarsaparilla. He has been undone by dung. You can’t help but feel sorry for him. “Don’t worry,” you say, reaching out your hand to his filth-encrusted glove. “It’s really clean inside the ship. Like, eat-off-the-floor clean.”
“But, but, what could be in there, but more . . . more . . . p-p-p . . .” His trembling lips cannot bear to form the word.
“Trust me,” you say in such a commanding way that you surprise yourself.
It works. The lumbering bandit heaves himself onto his feet and trudges with you over to the hole. You worry what will happen if he freezes and refuses to jump in, as you are nowhere near strong enough to push him. But his will has been broken, and when the opening stretches wide, flooding your nostrils with the strangely sweet air of the chute, he grabs your hand and together you hop in.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
THE EDGE OF THE WORD is another absolutely delightful interactive story, where you are the main character in the book. In these books, you have been thrust into Astorya, a fictional land, where you don't know your name and are only armed with a pencil. The book includes fill-in-the-blank mad-lib style entries, puzzles, mazes, and places where you can draw the way you would imagine something. The vast majority of the book remains the actual plot/story line, so the entries are a bonus for the tenacious middle grade reader. The first book ended with you saving Astorya from Queen Rulette. This second book starts right after the first one ended where you must again save Astorya by protecting the Original (the story that created Astorya). In this journey, you and the gang must go to the Other Side (of the page). A whole new and completely ridiculously delightful story awaits. Filled with funny moments, clever puzzles, and all sorts of interesting characters, this book is another charmer in the series. What I loved: These books have a lot of potential in that they can be really interactive and engaging. I could easily see these being a classroom read, where students complete the puzzles/tasks together or alone. The story itself is really strong, so the interactive parts are just a bonus. Astorya is quite imaginative with plenty of comedy and action/adventure. The footnotes are also completely delightful and add some extra fun to the book. Final verdict: This is a really fantastic middle grade series that I would highly recommend for this audience. Fans of SIDEWAYS STORIES OF WAYSIDE SCHOOL, CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE books, fairy tales, mad libs, and puzzles will all find something to delight in this unique new series. Please note that I received an ARC. All opinions are my own.