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The Land of Stories


By Kathy Pillatzki
Assistant Director
Henry County Library System

  Did you have a favorite book as a child, one you read over and over that never grew dull? For me it was Wilson Rawls’ Where the Red Fern Grows. The story of a mountain boy and his beloved hounds has always had a special place in my heart. I have reread it as an adult, and was pleased to realize that is was as good as my ten-year-old self thought. The story of Old Dan and Little Ann still charms with its high-action story and bittersweet but lovely ending.

  If you told me a new book would edge Where the Red Fern Grows out of the top spot on my favorites list, I’d be very skeptical. So when a coworker told me that The Wizard of Oz, her all-time favorite, had been toppled from her number-one position by a newly published book - one by a first-time author, no less - I was intrigued.

  Here’s what Kathy, children’s librarian at Cochran Library in Stockbridge, had to say:

  “Ever since I was a child and a lover of fairy tales, The Wizard of Oz has remained my favorite children’s book.  It was read by me many times, and each time I discovered something new and exciting in its pages.

  Today I finished my new favorite children’s book, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer.  It’s one of those rare finds which has the reader entering a world where anything is possible. It brings back the joy of childhood and the fun of belief in fairy godmothers, mermaids, talking frogs and wolves, and so much more! It gives another look at what happened later in the lives of some of our favorite story book characters such as Snow White, her wicked step-mother, Jack (of the beanstalk story), Goldilocks, and my own personal favorite, the Little Mermaid.

  Twins Alex and Connor are the main characters. They keep the action and dialogue moving in such an exciting way that the reader does not want to put the book down—even to eat or sleep.  The ending leaves the reader hoping that Chris Colfer will write more about this wonderful land of stories.”

  While you may not recognize Chris Colfer by name, you might recognize his face. He is an actor best known for his role as Kurt Hummel on Glee, for which he won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series and was twice nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. He also won a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedic TV Actor.

  In 2011 he signed a deal with Little, Brown publishers to write two novels for children and teens. Upon its publication in July 2012, The Land of Stories shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for children. No release date is available yet for his second book, but Colfer has said in interviews that the plot is unrelated to The Land of Stories and is aimed at a teen audience. This should be interesting!

  In the meantime, The Land of Stories is available at all five Henry County public libraries.



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