Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The Glass Town Game

The Glass Town Game

Fall 2017 Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Illustrator: Rebecca Green
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781481476966
Hardcover Price: $17.99

In The Glass Town Game, Catherynne M. Valente fictionalizes the real-life Bronte family just as Charlotte and Emily head to their horrible dreary boarding school. Siblings Branwell and Anne tag along as escorts. But a strange thing happens at the train station. A man made of newspapers and magazines appears on the platform in complete disarray, yet despite the spectacle he makes no one except the Brontes can see him. Not surprisingly, this first strange thing leads to another.

The train, when it arrives, is made of twigs and leaves. The entire staff happens to share the names the Bronte children gave their toy soldiers. The ones they created elaborate stories for, and then acted out for hours on end in their playroom. Yep. They did what every good dreamer fantasizes about - they walked right into their own made-up magical world.

Valente douses her book with winks and whimsy. There are dangers and thrills, but also some great one-liners from Jane Austen, some extremely impressive luggage and a big helping of puns and wordplay. The language is edible.

It's the kind of nice thick chunk of a book that feels good to hold. Spend a few fun days in Glass Town with those sassy Bronte kids. It's quite a treat.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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