The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

It was released in July. GLEE fans will certainly recognize the name Chris Colfer (aka Kurt Hummel), but what you may not know is that he has taken-up to writing books: middle grade style!

Apparently this animated adventure has been in the works for years, since Colfer was in grade school himself, imagining what the continuing lives of classic storybook legends would be like. After all, wouldn’t the aftermath of so much fear and tragedy leave a little residual trauma for Snow White? And what became of the Queen? Twins Alex and Conner are about to find out, as they get lost, literally, in a book of fairytales.

The siblings’ six-grade teacher gives the students a valuable truth: “Fairy-tale ‘adaptations’ are usually stripped of every moral and lesson the stories were originally intended to teach, and replaced with singing and dancing forest animals.” This is a perspective Colfer himself seems to agree with, as his land of fairy tales is not full of happy endings, but fairy tale fugitives on the loose, wicked Queen’s escaping from prison to continue their wrath, and evil acts attempted to be explained by psychological complexity.

Many reviewers have suggested this book has “televisual” potential stamped all over it. And I agree. It’s thematic, character driven and ripe with dialogue begging for audible utterance. I liked it. I think you will too.

Official synopsis:

Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

MTV interview with Chris Colfer:

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