THE FEARLESS TRAVELERS’ GUIDE TO WICKED PLACES
By: Pete Begler
Pub Date : March 1st 2017
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers
Age Range: 9 – 12
Twelve-year-old Nell Perkins knows there is magic at work that she can’t yet understand. Her mother has been taken by witches and turned into a bird. Nell must journey to get her mother back, even if it takes her deep into the Wicked Places — the frightening realm where Nightmares reside. There she must break the spell and stop the witches from turning our world into a living nightmare.
I really enjoyed the mythology throughout the story and the imagery was amazing. The characters at times were fun and likable, however there were moments in the story where their actions seemed lackluster and away from character. The characters were original and the author managed to add some comedic relief when the book was getting intense. I can easily see this story continuing into a series, or to be drafted for a movie.
The book had a decent flow, I only noticed one spot where I was hoping the author would get more to the point. The author created a whole world of crazy but at times believable nightmare and dream realms. I appreciated the poetry in the story and if children haven’t been exposed yet, this is a fun first taste! The balance between adventure, suspense and wit was just right for both my young reader and myself. I enjoyed this unique adventure full of magic and mystery.
I can see this story being enjoyed parent to child, like I did, but also in reading groups in late elementary/early middle school. There are lessons to be learned throughout the book, although some may be hidden in the realm of make-believe. Bravery and friendship ring strong and true throughout the story and make it perfect for potential difficult times in a child’s life.
Do you think your child (or yourself) would enjoy this story?