Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Shelftalkers: Off the Page

Once upon a time, there was a book.  Not content to just be a book, it decided to come alive.  Its characters jumped off the page, defying convention.  They chose to be other than what they were written to be.  They chose to make the fairy tale come true.

Some fairy tales are so magical, they come alive – literally.  While reading Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha van Leer, I was reminded of those enchanted fantasy books that blend the lines between the real and make believe, well real in the world that the fantasy novel takes place at least.  Here are 5 of my favorite fantasy novels where characters come off the page.

Between the Lines
by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
Delilah spends day after day reading her favorite book, a fairy tale, when one day its main character, Oliver, speaks to her from the page.  Oliver is tired of living the same story over and over again and yearns to know what is out there, beyond the page.  Together the two scheme to find a way to rewrite the story.  This is a sweet, enchanting tale of true love, destiny, fate, and hanging on to your favorite book.

The Neverending Story
by Michael Ende
Here is the story within a story of Bastian, the only boy who may be able to save the stunning world of Fantastica.  All he has to do is reach the Childlike Empress and give her a new name, but in the world of fantasy no journey is as easy as it seems and there are a variety of magical creatures and stumbling blocks on each whimsical page.

by Cornelia Funke
We all have our favorite books, our favorite characters; those that we would love to spend some time with in real life.  What if you learned that your father can “read” characters to life by simply reading their story out loud?  Years ago, Meggie’s mom disappeared.  Together, they will venture into the world of books to try and find her.

by Neil Gaiman
A boy sets out on a quest to find a fallen star and the star turns out to be a beautiful woman, giving new meaning to the concept of wishing on a star.  Technically, if you were going to play a game of one of these things is not like the others, this book would be it.  But Stardust reminds me of the next book on our list, and I like it.  Plus, it’s my list.  So I’m giving it a thumbs up.

The Princess Bride
by William Goldman
A young boy, home sick in bed, is visited by his grandfather who offers to read him a story.  At first he protests, it’s one of those stupid fairy tales, but his is soon drawn into the pages of adventure, giants, revenge, and love twue love.  If you don’t love this book you have no heart and deserve to be wed to Prince Humperdink. That is all.

Join the conversation:
What are your favorite twisted fairy tales?
What character would you like to “read” to life?
What fantasy world would you like to visit?