When Toby breathes on Mama Inez's bird-shaped invitations, giving them the power to fly, plans for the Serendipity Market begin. Soon, eleven honored guests travel from afar and make their way to the storytellers' tent to share their stories. Each tale proves what Mama Inez knows—that magic is everywhere. Sometimes it shows itself subtly—a ray of sun glinting on a gold coin, or a girl picking a rose without getting pricked by the thorn—and sometimes it makes itself known with trumpets and fireworks. But when real magic is combined with the magic of storytelling, it can change the world.
Review from Booklist
Stories make the world go around in Blubaugh’s debut novel. Sometimes, when the world tilts off its axis, only the magical power of story can put things back to right. That’s where Mama Inez steps in. Using her gift of entering people’s lives in subtle yet mysterious ways, she gathers an eclectic group together for a night of storytelling. Each invited guest provides a talisman and a story, and together they set the world back to its rightful state. Weaving together unique variants of traditional tales, such as The Princess and the Pea, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, and Cinderella, this beautiful novel will be a delight to those who enjoy spin-offs of fairy tales and folktales. Readers will find themselves flipping back and forth to figure out how all the different stories hidden in the fold come together to form the greater whole of this charming book. Grades 6-10. --Melanie Koss
I admit I am most curious as to how Princess and the Pea is used. I'm also a sucker for anything with Serendipity in the title. I've not discussed it much, but a few years ago I did extensive reading on serendipty and its source story, The Three Princes of Serendip, one of its titles. I even worked on my own retelling quite extensively. So I love when the word is used with a greater understanding of its nuances...