Fern has been convinced for most of her life that she was raised by the wrong parents. They are dull and boring while Fern is certainly not. They talk endlessly about lawn care, while she is able to make crickets emerge from books, witness a nun turn into a lamppost and an umbrella, and sees evil clouds and watchful birds. Then, much to her delight, her suspicions are revealed to be true when her long lost real father Bone shows up and swaps her for the Summer with the boy who is supposed to be living where Fern is. And she acquires a mission: to find a powerful book called The Art of Being Anyone, before it falls into the devious hands of The Miser. There are angry fairies, dinosaurs, and all of your favorite children's book characters to deal with before Fern is done.
Julianna Baggott (writing as N. E. Bode) has obviously had a great deal of fun with this book, telling a story that will amuse children and put a smile on the face of lovers of kid lit. It's full of references to all sorts of classics (and more than a few knowing jibes at pretentious MFA creative writing programs as well!). Ine wonders if the whole thing isn't a bit too precious, but it's a quick read. Nice if you like fantasy, and a welcome break from so much of the other much-less-clever stuff out there.
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