Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (2011) Catherynne M. Valente

This started coming up as recommended for me pretty much as soon as it was published. But it was hardback, and a hardback price even for the Kindle, and it seemed straight-up fantasy, which I just haven’t been in the mood for, so I added it to my wish list and kept checking on it.

In March, I read the short story/novella The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland–for a Little While and quite enjoyed it. But then I read Deathless and didn’t like it at all. But, when I saw that the paperback version of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making was out in paperback–and the Kindle price had dropped to the paperback price, I decided to try it.

I’m glad I did.

First, unlike Deathless, this is a kids/young adult book. So no boinking. Second, there were all kinds of references to all kinds of fairy tales and stories. I loved all the references. Third, it’s simply a good book. Fun and enjoyable.

And very, very good.

“When you are born,” the golem said softly, “your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk and crusty things and dirt and fear and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you’re half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it’s so grunged up with living.

So. Wow. Yeah.

…though you can have grief without adventures, you cannot have adventures without grief.

It’s so fascinating to see it put so simply, because it’s true. To be true to yourself and truly live your life, bad things are going to happen. It’s just the way things are.

Apparently, there are people who are complaining that this book is too “hard” for kids. There are quite obviously people who have absolutely no memory of being kids themselves.

But there are plenty of things for adults to get as well.

All children are heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb tall trees and say shocking things and leap so very high that grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weight quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one.

I highly recommend The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, for children and adults.
Rating: 8.5/10

Published by Square Fish

Categories: 8.5/10, Fantasy, Folk & Fairy Tales, Kids, Young Adult
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