Told in diary form by an irresistible heroine, this “heartfelt, bittersweet, and ever-so-clever coming-of-age fantasy” (School Library Journal, starred review) named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year from the New York Times bestselling author of the May Bird trilogy sparkles with science, myth, magic, and the strange beauty of the everyday marvels we sometimes forget to notice.
Spirited, restless Gracie Lockwood has lived in Cliffden, Maine, her whole life. She’s a typical girl in an atypical world: one where sasquatches helped to win the Civil War, where dragons glide over Route 1 on their way south for the winter (sometimes burning down a T.J. Maxx or an Applebee’s along the way), where giants hide in caves near LA and mermaids hunt along the beaches, and where Dark Clouds come for people when they die.
To Gracie it’s all pretty ho-hum…until a Cloud comes looking for her little brother Sam, turning her small-town life upside down. Determined to protect Sam against all odds, her parents pack the family into a used Winnebago and set out on an epic search for a safe place that most people say doesn’t exist: The Extraordinary World. It’s rumored to lie at the ends of the earth, and no one has ever made it there and lived to tell the tale. To reach it, the Lockwoods will have to learn to believe in each other—and to trust that the world holds more possibilities than they’ve ever imagined.
Living in Camden, Maine, 12-year-old Gracie Lockwood is used to dragons, giants, and vampires. Even her grandmother, a witch living in the Smokey Mountains, keeps ghosts in her backyard. When a Dark Cloud, a harbinger of death, arrives at the family's doorstep, Gracie, her siblings, their parents, and her orphaned friend Oliver escape their beloved town in a Winnebago. They embark on a journey across the country in search of the Extraordinary World, a place without supernatural beings, believed to be a myth by everyone except Gracie's absent-minded father. Anderson (Tiger Lily) infuses the novel, written in the form of Gracie's diary, with effervescent magic and harrowing adventure, and every enticing cliffhanger makes it difficult to put down. Gracie and family weather a soul-stealing genie, phantom ships, and a weak-kneed guardian angel named Virgil in their escape from death, only to discover the necessity in accepting one's fate and the importance of family. Anderson leaves no stone unturned as she creates characters with zest and heart, as well as settings that encompass the best of all imaginary lands. Ages 8 12.
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