Tilly lives with her grandparents at 'Pages and Co', their bookshop, as her mother disappeared when she was a baby and she never knew her father. Feeling isolated as she moves to secondary and her friendships change, Tilly increasingly finds solace in the books she loves.
Suddenly, she finds her favourite characters in the bookshop and discovers that she can travel into fictional worlds. With her new friend, Oskar, Tilly enjoys 'bookwandering', but becomes aware of the mysterious, slightly sinister Enoch Chalk who seems to be following her. Finding out more about him, Tilly comes to discover more about herself and her family with dramatic consequences.
I desperately want to be able to bookwander! This book speaks loud and clear to book lovers, welcoming them into a world they would love in inhabit.
'Pages and Co' is an excellent read. Tilly (Matilda) is an appealing character; her warm, affectionate relationship with her grandparents is a delight to read and I am sure many older readers will recognise elements of their younger selves in her love of reading and books. Anna James has done a wonderful job of bringing Alice (in Wonderland) and Anne (of Green Gables) into the story, weaving elements of their stories into her own. She has done an excellent job of keeping their voices close to the original whilst working them into Tilly's story.
The bookwandering world is well developed with plenty of detail and thought in its construction, but my favourite place in the book is 'Pages and Co'. A magical mix of all the best elements of the quirkiest bookshops, it is loving described and brilliantly brought to life. A bibliophile's dream!
An imaginative adventure story rooted in the world of books, 'Pages and Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers' is a fabulous read and I really look forward to Tilly's next adventure.
Pages and Co: Tilly and the Bookwandrers Anna James
Harper Collins ISBN: 978-0008229863
Published September 18th 2018