Stepping into another person’s story is not all that unusual in books. One of the wonderful things about reading is that you can imagine yourself being someone else. What if I were a demigod like Percy Jackson? How would I stop Draco Malfoy if I were Hermione Granger? Would I be able to make it in the Hunger Games if I were Katniss Everdeen?
If you’re a writer, you can take it one step further – creating a story within the story. Angelica Banks, also known as Heather Rose and Danielle Wood, did just that with Finding Serendipity. Tuesday McGillycuddy’s life would sound pretty great to a lot of kids. Her mom, Serendipity Smith, is a famous author. Her dad is a nerdy guy who loves her completely. Still, her mom is super busy most of the time being a famous author, and sometimes not feeling like the most important thing is frustrating for Tuesday. She’s having a hard time being patient.
Just as Serendipity is finishing her latest book, she disappears. Tuesday thinks her mom might have gotten lost or something might have happened to her, so she follows Serendipity into another world – one of authors, characters and stories. Tuesday does what you’re not supposed to do. As a writer, she should really follow her own voice. But Tuesday goes into her mother’s story instead, and has to figure out how to survive, doing things she’s never done like sailing a boat and outwitting pirates. Finding Serendipity is a quick and quirky read, and a fun one. It’s whimsical. It’s got action. It’s got interesting, light characters, and really, really bad characters. And it all turns out ok in the end. The feel of the book is like The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster – odd, curious, challenging and not quite real, and for me, that’s always a good thing. Give it a chance, and you’ll find yourself wondering what you’d do if you were Tuesday. Or Katniss. Or Percy. Or whoever.