Gwendolyn Gray does not fit in. She lives in a monochromatic world where everyone and everything is ordinary. Her bright red hair, crazy imagination, and tendency to find trouble have no place in the city.
When her imagination begins to leak out into the real world—first as a bright green leaf as she imagines herself in a colorful forest, then as the long fluffy ears one of her classmates sprouts after Gwendolyn imagines the girl as a rabbit—she doesn’t know what to think.
On the far outskirts of the city, two faceless men in bowler hats start chasing her. Just as they are about to catch her, she is rescued by two siblings whom she has never seen before, Sparrow and Starling. The three are soon off on a fantastic adventure.
The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray is a fantastic, whimsical, and thoroughly satisfying book. Crossing multiple worlds and filled with pirates, steampunk-style gadgetry, magic, and a wonderfully creepy nemesis, the story is highly original and entertaining.
Gwendolyn is very likable; she attempts to do the right thing in every situation. Sparrow is a charming boy who is extremely prone to mischief, and Starling is brilliant, resourceful, and stern. It is easy to get swept up and carried away as the three work to defeat the faceless men and the unseen Collector.
The story builds on the idea that “magic equals imagination equals creation!” Though Gwendolyn Gray comes from a world where imagination is all but nonexistent, it proves to be the power of her imagination that is central to her success. As the excitement builds and children share in Gwendolyn’s mistakes and triumphs, it is impossible not to believe that imagination can indeed make anything happen.
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