Any Which Wall. Laurel Snyder. 2009. May 2009. Random House. 256 pages.
Have you ever stumbled onto magic? Maybe while you were trudging to school one drizzly day, or in the middle of a furious game of freeze tag? Has anything odd ever happened to you?Why the long quote? Well, I wanted to share the opening paragraphs of this one simply because they begged to be read. Once I read the prologue of this book, I had to take it home with me. I just had to read this one. I wanted to know what kind of magical adventures were to be had. I shared them in the hopes that they would hook you like they had hooked me!
If you're shaking your head right now, if you think that nothing out of the ordinary ever happens, you might be mistaken. Because it's possible that you stumbled onto magic and missed it--that you were teetering on the edge of a strange and wonderful adventure but then turned the other way. This happens all the time.
I know a boy (we'll call him Horbert, though that isn't his name, thank goodness), and for years he lived in a house where the bathtub had a magical drainpipe that led straight to the lost city of Atlantis! But Horbert was always in such a hurry to get where he was going that he never lingered in the bath. Whenever he got really filthy, and his mother nagged him to wash, he just jumped in and briefly splashed at himself. Then he'd spring right from the tub, and out the door he'd fly, afraid that his older brother Noah was beating his high score on Super-Space-Zombie-4000, his very favorite video game. Though mermaids sang in the plumbing, he never heard their call.
Henry, Emma, Susan, and Roy are about to have a very uncommon common adventure. One summer day, these four kids discover a wall in the middle of a corn field. One of them oh-so-innocently wishes to be somewhere else. (Susan wishes for a root beer float at Annabelle's Diner.) And well, what happens next is quite extraordinary. These children have a magical summer before them as they discover just where this wishing wall will take them.
This book reminded me (in a good way) of Five Children and It by E. Nesbit. (I suppose other children's fantasy books could be mentioned as well.) There's something satisfying about this fun fantasy. I really enjoyed reading it.
Other reviews: Charlotte's Library, Jen Robinson, Semicolon, Never Jam Today.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews