A train trip on a cold, grey day, stretches of time spent waiting at stations or fighting my way through crowds, then a funeral in the rain… Friday was a sad sort of day.

Brightened by junior fiction. The book I tucked into my bag, Pages&Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers, (a reading copy, as it’s not due for release till later this month) was a  counterbalance.
Our heroine is orphaned Tilly, who lives with her grandparents in their bookshop, Pages&Co. It’s school holiday time, and with her friendships changing and a little disappointing, she finds herself feeling lonely. So she turns, of course, to books. And finds to her surprise that Alice comes out of Wonderland and Anne with an ‘e’ strays from Green Gables. She’s able to go back in to their books with them, too.
And that’s because – as she finds out –  she’s a “bookwanderer”, one of those special readers whose heart and mind and spirit are so in tune with fictional worlds and people that they interleave with each other. With the help of a new friend Oskar and the dedicated librarians of the mysterious Underlibrary, she finds out what happened to her parents and achieves a happy ending.
The inter-textuality (a big word that just came to me from my nearly- forgotten Graduate Diploma in Children’s Literature) isn’t sharp and clever and funny, as in The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Rather, this is a sweet, cheerful and comforting book that I can recommend for 8-9 year old girls who are not quite ready for too many thrills and chills and challenges.

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