Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks. | My copy: ARC, 279 pages, Henry Holt and Company BFYR, released February 3th, 2015. (Originally published May, 2013.) | Source: The publisher via Goodreads First Reads! | View on Goodreads here. | View book web page here.
*I received this book from the publisher through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Henry Holt and Company!
When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday’s mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End.
Serendipity Smith is one of the world’s most famous authors, writer of the Vivienne Small books. She also happens to be Tuesday McGillycuddy’s mom. When Serendipity goes missing while finishing up her final Vivienne Small novel, Tuesday goes in search of her. After all, there are blueberry pancakes for breakfast! Tuesday magically finds herself in a special world where writers go to invent and discover their stories. In her quest to find Serendipity, Tuesday enters the world of Vivienne Small’s — and goes on a grand adventure that is certainly not how anyone imagined it would be at all.
I really liked Finding Serendipity. It is a very cute Middle Grade novel full of magic and wonder. It’s got a plucky protagonist (Tuesday McGillycuddy), her terrific dog (Baxterr — yes, with two Rs), her overly-eloquent dad (who is thrilled about Tuesday’s adventure), her alter-ego mom (who is worried about Tuesday’s adventure), Serendipity’s brave heroine (Vivienne Small — who has a boat called the Vivacious), the evil pirate Captain Mothwood (who has a ship called the Silverfish), and an intimidating Librarian… The characters make up a very fun, colorful cast, and are all likeable or unlikeable (is that a word?) in their intended ways, but none are extremely layered or deep.
I also really liked some of the details the book has. Most notably how Tuesday got transported to and fro with the silver words. (Yup, that’s all you’re getting! Can’t go spoiling this great element for you!) There are also some illustrations and spot art, which I thought was an excellent addition to the story. I read an ARC, so the illustrations are not final, but the ones I got to see have a very appealing simplicity to them.
Finding Serendipity is a delightful tale and I was very pleasantly surprised by it. The initial summary doesn’t sound all that unique (a girl goes in search of her mother), but the way it is executed put a smile on my face and had me rooting for Tuesday to succeed in her quest. Angelica Banks (which is actually a pseudonym for Heather Rose and Danielle Wood) has written a very sweet book that I highly recommend to kids (or teens!) who want a great, fun adventure without all the super-heavy topics a lot of stories implement these days. ♦
So tell me…
Have you read Finding Serendipity? If not, would you be interested in reading it now? What was the last Middle Grade book you read and enjoyed? Comment below letting me know! And, as always, happy reading!