Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.
With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful. -Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads
I'm not sure I have words for how much I love this book. It is definitely reminiscent of so many classic stories, and that is because it is mostly about classic stories, and how much we love them, and how important and real to us they can be. If you ever checked the back of your closet for an entrance to Narnia, scanned the skies for your owl-borne acceptance letter to Hogwarts, or wished that you could run off to Green Gables or Digitopolis or the Shire or Oz, do yourself a favor and read this book.