Book Review: The Forbidden Library, by Django Wexler

Available in bookstores nationwide.

Imagine a library where, if you begin reading a cv_the_forbidden_librarycertain book, you step right into the world that book is describing. Imagine, if you will, a library which boast talking cats, demons, fairies of the wicked and peculiar kind, a mysterious and generally unseen uncle. Imagine being someone who has the ability to get right into the story, physically.

That person is Alice and she is a Reader, although she does not know this.

Shortly before her father disappears, Alice overhears a conversation between an evil fairy and her father. Immediately thereafter she is sent to stay with her uncle Jerry, whom she has never met. He owns a remarkable and mysterious and enormous library and Alice – by accident – discovers that it holds tremendous power in its volumes.

Django Wexler has an amazing imagination, and although the story is far-fetched, it is of course fantasy so pretty much anything goes.

I found the book fun, quirky, and quite well-written, although the characterisation could be more developed.

I think younger readers who enjoy Neil Gaiman and maybe Phillip Pullman will find this an interesting diversion.

Apparently there are to be further stories about Alice and her adventures as a reader. I am keen to hear what young readers think of this book, and whether they’d like more.

Reviewed by Sue Esterman

The Forbidden Library
by Django Wexler
Published by Random House
ISBN 9780857532886