Anna James: Pages & Co. – The Book Smugglers (HarperCollins Publishers 2021)
’We’re all built of stories.’
We may have felt before that there are whole worlds in the books. For Matilda Pages, however, this is reality. She can read herself into a book, or the characters can step out to visit her. With this special ability, she is not alone, many people in the world are capable of doing so, but only in libraries or bookstores is it possible to bookwander, because enough magic is gathered only here. However, Tilly’s grandparents have a small bookshop in London, named Pages and Co. The girl and her friends involved in many special adventures with their favorite characters like Anne (with an e at the end) or Jack the Beanstalk, but they also meet William Shakespeare on their travels.
In this book, they travel to Venice on a special train that can travel Story itself and can get to real and imagined places. The train is operated by Milo and his uncle Horatio and is not used for completely legal purposes: they are book smugglers. Now Horatio wants to involve Tilly in a dangerous adventure related to some copies of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Tilly and Milo have to go to Emerald City to solve a mystery that affects both of their families.
Tilly is clearly the protagonist of the first three books, but in this volume that role is shared between Tilly and Milo. The atmosphere of the story, like the previous ones, is very pleasant and immediately makes you want to read more books. The series is expected to be 6 volume long and the 5th will be released in September under the title The Treehouse Library. The first three books are illustrated by Paola Escobar, 4-6 will be illustrated by Marco Guadalupi.
Anna James grew up in Northumberland and currently lives in North London. She already had several bookish jobs, such as school librarian and journalist, before becoming a writer. In addition to the Pages and Co. series, she edits anthologies, writes short stories and articles, and makes interviews for magazines. She writes about books, theater, feminism, and was the editor of the ELLE UK.
To learn more about the author and her books, check out her website: https://anna-james.com/.