The Land of Stories

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell

Book Review

For years, my daughter begged me to read the Land of Stories by Chris Colfer. This past month, she finally got her wish. And she was right. The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell is a fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our world with the enchanting realm of classic childhood fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

Even though this childhood fantasy is aimed at young readers in second to fifth grade, the books in The Land of Stories Series are still some of my daughter’s favorites. She’s fourteen now. But Alex and Conner’s personalities and the characterization of the many well-known princesses after their happily-ever-after fairy tale endings are a beloved part of her life.

Teachers Empower Student Reading and Success

It was my daughter’s second-grade teacher who introduced her to The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell. As part of the school day, the teacher read a chapter out loud to the class daily. My daughter says, “This book is what made me not only want to read real chapter books but helped me realize I could read them.”

Early self-reading has put her on a path of fantastic discovery, purpose, and understanding. English literature and history assignments are enjoyable and fun for her because she loves to read. As a fun note, her current free-reading book at school is Sherlock Holmes Volume I. She’s working on being more observant to make better deductions.

The University of Iowa’s Center for Teaching gives research-backed benefits to reading out loud to your students. Along with motivating students to read on their own, it helps students build critical thinking skills, increases reading fluency and expression, and improves information processing.

The Land of Stories Plotline

The plot centers around the adventures of twins Alex and Conner Bailey and their beloved but deceased father. They discover the mysterious powers of a cherished childhood book of stories that they grew up reading.

The book contains nursery rhymes and Brothers Grimm’s classic fairy tales. However, with the right touch, the book is a gateway. The twins end up leaving our world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic.

Alex and Conner are stuck in the fairy tale world. Their only ticket home is to gather significant, even magical items from fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. Once they have all the items together, they can perform the wishing spell and wish to go home.

They travel the various fairy tale kingdoms looking for and acquiring things like Cinderella’s slipper, a bit of Red Riding Hood’s basket, and a jewel from Snow White’s coffin. Along the way, they find out the truth about numerous fairy tale characters like Goldilocks, Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty, and Prince Charming to name a few.

Eventually, they come face to face with the self-absorbed Evil Queen who gave Snow White a poisoned apple. In the end, they find out more about themselves and who they are than their fairy tale heroes and heroines. Their experiences show everyone has a backstory, not everything is as it initially seems, and people want to be valued and loved.

Author Chris Colfer

Along with being an author, Chris Colfer is an acclaimed actor. He won the 2011 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series for his work in Glee.

Colfer was a writer before he was an actor. At sixteen, Colfer conceived The Land of Stories plot. The plot is action-packed, but it is full of innocence and a desire to bless and help others along the way.

Colfer is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. He has numerous book titles out including two book series.

  • The Land of Stories Series (6 books)
  • Tale of Magic Series (3 books)

My daughter loves the entire Land of Stories Series. She says Book 1 and 2 are stand-alone books. However, if you read book 3: A Grimm Warning be prepared to read the rest of the series. Her favorite books are Book 1: The Wishing Spell, Book 3: A Grimm Warning, and Book 5: An Author’s Odyssey.

 

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We invite you to look at Teacher Power’s blog for additional book reviews, free printables and downloadables, self-care tips, and teaching ideas.

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Article by Miss Jae

 

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