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Book Review of The Lost Wonderland Diaries: Secrets of the Looking Glass (Book #2) by J. Scott Savage
One of my favorite poems is “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. It’s especially fun to read out loud! I’ve read it to my children, my children’s classes at school, and my students at school. It’s fun to show children what you can do with words. I haven’t ever read Through the Looking-Glass (gasp!) so I didn’t know that’s where “Jabberwocky” is written. In Secrets of the Looking Glass, book #2 of The Lost Wonderland Diaries by J. Scott Savage, the Jabberwocky plays a big part. It was fun to see it come to life on the page! That’s not all, though. This book is packed with action, adventure, words, fighting, mirrors, and…the Bandersnatch!
After returning from Wonderland, Celia and Tyrus journey to the Looking-Glass World to reclaim their mirror images and stop a war between two powerful queens.
When the Bandersnatch steals one of Lewis Carroll’s lost diaries, Celia and Tyrus try to get it back, only to tumble through a magic mirror into the Looking-Glass World, a place where everything—themselves included—is divided in two. Celia’s logic and Tyrus’s imagination now belong to their mirror images, Lia and Ty.
Left without their greatest problem-solving skills, Celia and Tyrus must rely on each other as they play a massive game of chess to try to catch their mirror images. Along the way, they engage in a rhyming battle with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, seek advice from Humpty and Dumpty, and learn how to believe in the impossible from the White Queen, who remembers the future as if it were the past.
As the final battle draws near, Celia and Tyrus form an uneasy alliance with Lia and Ty to find the legendary vorpal sword—the only weapon powerful enough to stop the war. If they fail, not only will two kingdoms be destroyed, but Celia and Tyrus might never regain their stolen talents and could be trapped in the Looking-Glass World forever.
My Book Review:
This is a fun continuation of the story in The Lost Wonderland Diaries! Celia and Tyrus are back at it, but this time they end up in the Looking-Glass World, a place that is very different from Wonderland. They see a few familiar faces, but…something is off with each of them. In fact, something seems off with Celia and Tyrus also. That’s when Celia and Tyrus realize that they’re missing a few significant parts of themselves. Their mirror images are running around somewhere with their best qualities. What they need to do to get those pieces back turns into quite the adventure!
I like the fun with words in this book. The red and white kingdoms are at war with each other, and they fight with puns, vocab words, and poetry—not your typical swords or cannons. Words have the same effect, though. They can cause a lot of damage! It’s a clever and unique aspect of the book that I enjoyed.
The characters in this story learn a lot of lessons about themselves and the world around them. They learn that individuals are not just their best qualities. Yes, we each have qualities that we consider our best qualities, but there is so much more to us than just those things! Also, we can learn and grow and adapt to new situations and turn some of our weaknesses into strengths. Celia and Tyrus also learn that they can do hard things! It might not be fun or easy, but they can do it if they use their resources and work together.
Another lesson I liked was to look at situations from different angles and perspectives. What might look like one thing may turn out to be a completely different thing when viewed from a different perspective. We may not have the whole story or all the evidence. When we hear the whole story, our opinions and understanding may change. Quite philosophical for a middle-grader story! I love it!
Secrets of the Looking-Glass is a fun and entertaining read that will have middle-graders everywhere wanting to play chess and walking around quoting “Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!”
Content Rating: PG (There isn’t any profanity or “intimacy” in this book. There is some minor violence.)
Age Recommendation: Middle-Graders and up
My Rating: 3/5
Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.