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Publisher's Summary

September is a girl who longs for adventure. When she is invited to Fairyland by a Green Wind and a Leopard, well, of course she accepts. (Mightn’t you?) But Fairyland is in turmoil, and it will take one 12-year-old girl, a book-loving dragon, and a strange and almost human boy named Saturday to vanquish an evil Marquess and restore order.

©2011 Catherynne M. Valente (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic Reviews

"This is a kind of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by way of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - it's the sort of book one doesn't want to end." ( Publisher's Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Where Was This When I Was Growing Up?

An absolutely fantastic, adorable, unique read, "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making" is all that I could have possibly wanted it to be and more. Friendship, adventure, magic, imagination... I really wish I had this book growing up.

A story for all ages, this first book in the Fairyland series has great life lessons for all, including loyalty, friendship and doing what is right even when you really just want to curl up and go home. It blurs the line between "good" and "evil", and is about being courageous, making your own choices and standing up for what - and who - you believe in.

Personally, I listened to this tale as an Audiobook and I highly recommend doing so. Not only is it narrated by the author (a fact I didn't realise until after j had finished it) but the writing style is such that the novel is told by a narrator, which makes it perfect for this format. My only complaint would be that even though there are four - possibly five - books in the series, four of which are recorded as Audiobooks, only the first two are available on the Australian Audible, which is highly frustrating.

I will say, however, that the narrative does take a slightly darker turn as it progresses, so I would suggest perhaps reading ahead/beforehand to check if you're comfortable with that aspect of it if you're thinking of reading it to a much younger person.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica
  • 07-08-13

A true classic for the next generation

Would you listen to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making again? Why?

Absolutely. I think it ranks up there with Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz, books that you can read again and again and discover something new each time.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character, September was my favourite. She was funny and brave yet serious and timid at the same time. The adventures she goes on bring out the best in September and I enjoyed the development of her character through the book.

Have you listened to any of Catherynne M. Valente’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have not - but I did enjoy this one and will certainly be buying the next in the series.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did. However, as I was listening with my two young children, we had to content ourselves with a couple of chapters before bedtime each night! I was tempted to keep listening once they were asleep but managed not too as I felt that was a bit unfair.

Any additional comments?

Loved this book. Would recommend for young or old.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Prof
  • 06-16-15

Definitely try before you buy

What disappointed you about The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making?

One of those florid styles of writing that you either love or loathe. Narratives are an entirely secondary concern as the author’s love of language draws ever increasing circles round the reader. It doesn't let up for a moment. And to be fair, some of the expressions and turns of phrase are charming. But they’re drowned out by endless 'bon mots' that aren’t. Listen to the clips before you buy. Its all like that.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tenesha
  • 03-07-16

Greatly Entertaining

Fantastic mythical fun, with twists and turns that can make you laugh, cry or smile.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jasmine
  • 05-16-15

I adored this book from beginning to end

Beautiful language a treasure chest of golden original ideas. Perfect in every way i think i just found my favourite book of all time cant wait to read the next installment. I never review i loved it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Meera
  • 04-06-18

Traditional growing up story

Any additional comments?

Meet September a girl who wanted to get away from her boring life. A girl without an ordinary brain. September goes on a strange adventure to Fairyland, she learns that sometimes things are not as easy as they seem. Meet a very strange group of people that teach her a number of lessons that she would never have learned otherwise. Taught her a way of accepting others and herself in many ways. A traditional growing up story with some big words brought in to boot. Do not see it as a growing up story you are better off reading it for the interesting mix of characters.

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  • Amber Wright
  • 08-03-16

best book ever! 💖

I loved it. It made me feel like I was there.
I wish it was longer. A must read for those who enjoyed the books by R.L La fevers
you should definitely read it 💖💗💘💝💞💟💓💕💜💛💚💙

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Keshnee
  • 06-04-16

Fairytales and growing up...

The thing that attracted me to this book was the interesting yet extremely long winded title. And yet it wasn't quite the fairytale story I expected, don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it but in a different way to how I would enjoy other fairytales.

One oddity that I can't understand is why there are so many authors out there that envision their fairytale worlds' to be a mix of fairytale and more of the most horrible parts about reality instead of more of the best parts of fantasy - like magic and friends and laughter and quests, etc... But alas, this story has all that but it also has a lot of the not so good stuff - like leaving home and being alone and getting injured and life just being extremely difficult and unfair and meeting dreadful people, etc... I felt so sorry for September during her horribly sad though unusual journey through fairyland, exacerbated by the narrators melancholic tone.

This book has more grownup problems and themes than you may expect from a fairytale. But there is an interesting story being told with adventures and fantastical creatures which is what all fantasy readers are looking for. Would I have wanted to read this when I was 12 years old, probably not, but it does make a lot more sense from my side of 21. Or possibly I would have read a different story when I was 12 and hadn't left home on my own and would have been unable to fill the sad bits with my own personal hardships. The author may be right about children being heartless and it taking a long time for children to grow a big enough heart to care.

Definitely worth a read for all fantasy fans!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • faye
  • 05-16-15

Exactly as a fairy story should be

Tempted beyond measure not to buy the sequel right now. Despite all the things that were on my reading list first by rights.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirsty H
  • 03-15-15

Loved it

highly enjoyable, loved every minute of it.
not many books can have an omnipotent narrator and work but this has, it did and I want more.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jessica
  • 01-06-17

awesome

This was just awesome. What a great story. I'm absolutely in love! I will definitely be listening to the rest!