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Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks ARC {5 Stars}

Finding Serendipity by Angelic Banks is a charming middle grade story of a girl discovering the true magic of words in the world created by her mother’s fantasy series! Finding Serendipity has everything that I love in a middle grade: writing that will appeal to both younger and more “mature” children (hehe), whimsy, illustrations, and a unique idea with a strong heroine to adventure with! Apparently Angelica Banks is actual a pseudonym for two writers from Tasmania who decided to give children’s books a try and I’m so thrilled that they did :D. (Just so you know, Finding Serendipity was the book I read while I was sitting around in the hospital, so my experience was probably a bit influenced by that ;-).)

Note: I received an advanced copy of Finding Serendipity from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks ARC {5 Stars}

Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on Feb 3rd, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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.

5 Stars

Strengths:

  • I absolutely need whimsy in my middle grade books so I was thrilled to discover plenty of whimsy in Finding Serendipity! There are cute asides to the reader, a certain level of magical mystery that doesn’t need to be explained, and just downright fun additions to the characters in the fantasy world.
  • Finding Serendipity is PERFECT for aspiring authors of all ages! Finding Serendipity has a great message about children never being too young to be a writer and a pretty cool message about fan fiction being a completely legitimate form of storytelling :D. I really think so many of you lovely aspiring authors would downright love this!
  • The illustrations weren’t final in my ARC of Finding Serendipity, but I can already tell that they are going to be so cute! I love the illustrations that aren’t just at the beginning of chapters but sprinkled throughout and Finding Serendipity is full of them :D.
  • The magical world in Finding Serendipity is one created by writers where they can travel and live out the adventure they’re writing about to really get the authentic experience. I’ve never read of a portal fantasy quite like Finding Serendipity before and it was so much fun to explore. I would have gone crazy over a story like this as a kid and probably would have written furiously to try to get teleported away ;-).
  • A problem with a lot of middle grade is a strange lack of parents, but not so in Finding Serendipity! Tuesday’s parents get plenty of page time and do everything they can to help and support Tuesday as she’s off adventuring.
  • Better yet, Tuesday’s father is a stay-at-home-dad and her mother is the main breadwinner of the family because she’s a famous writer! The main character of her (Serendipity’s) books is also a feisty heroine who any young girl would love to be friends with. I totally would have dressed as her for Halloween if I was younger >.>.

Weaknesses:

  • We have found a book for which I have a pretty hard time thinking of a problem! The only complaint I can make is that the plot ends up being a bit contrived since Tuesday’s mother ends up being rescued pretty early on and then Tuesday just has to go finish her adventure because REASONS ;-).

Summary:

Finding Serendipity is a story that children of all ages with love, especially those aspiring authors! Be prepared for them to then want to run off to storyland though ;-). If you enjoy middle grade that doesn’t talk down to the reader, Finding Serendipity is definitely one to try! Plus I need you all to buy copies so that more of the series gets published over here >.>.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. I love whimsy in my books in general and the illustrations look gorgeous! I don’t read middle grade books, but I’m intrigued. I actually just had a pretty good experience with Nightwing, which was also a cute, whimsical middle grade story. Perhaps a tad simplistic, but I’d recommend it :)
    Katie @ Doing Dewey recently posted…Galileo’s Middle FingerMy Profile

  2. The concept of that portal is great! Maybe a bit too dangerous, depending on the kind of story the author is writing though. This book sounds a bit too innocent for me, but it seems to be the kind of book that many kids would enjoy.
    Hellen recently posted…Review/Reseña – Lobo: El camino de la venganza – Patricia García-RojoMy Profile

  3. I have a copy of this that I need to read. I am so happy you enjoyed it – I will def. be moving it up in my TBR pile ! Thank you for this wonderful review!
    Steph recently posted…Recent Reads: Part-Time Princesses by Monica GallagherMy Profile

  4. I’m in love with the book cover alone ha ha! and your review, makes me want to reach out for it even more :D
    Claudia {Sparrowhawk} recently posted…Sparrow’s Reading Corner: {It’s About The Friday Book Memes | Volume No. 40}My Profile

  5. I really loved this book too! Although I wish there was a sequel.
    Breana M. recently posted…Review: A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’EngleMy Profile

  6. This looks so unbearably cute. I think I would just read this based on the cover alone. But then again the synopsis sounds amazing. I would’ve loved this if I were in middle school. I probably would love it now haha. Awesome review Anya! Glad you loved it!
    Valerie recently posted…The Key to Appealing Writing? (Survey Results!)My Profile

  7. And another book for the “howamigoingtofindtimeforallthis” list….
    Rindis recently posted…Alexander to ActiumMy Profile

  8. This sounds like the kind of book I would have DEVOURED as a kid, and I think I’ll probably still enjoy it now. Plus, the cover art is so cute! Great review, Anya!
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…Top 15 Childhood Books I’d Love to RevisitMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] to for inspiration for their books and a young girl just learning how to be a writer. I adored Finding Serendipity, and am happy to report this sequel goes back to the fun parts of the first book while greatly […]

  2. […] February 2nd 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) ) I absolutely adored Finding Serendipity and desperately hoped that there would be a sequel, so I’m freaking pumped for A Week Without […]

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