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Pages and Co: Tilly and the Map of Stories by Anna James

Title: Pages and Co: Tilly and the Map of Stories

Author: Anna James

Genre: Magical Realism

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia

Published: 8th October 2020

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 448

Price: $19.99

Synopsis: Third in the modern-classic and bestselling bookwandering series that celebrates all that is best in life: books, adventure, friendship – and cake.
Strange things are happening. A man comes into Pages & Co looking for a book… then suddenly can’t remember it. Tilly and her family feel like the world is changing – but can’t quite put their finger on why.

Meanwhile, the Underwoods are expanding their control over bookwandering – and they still have their sights set on Tilly. Leaving the safety of the bookshop, Tilly heads to America to find the legendary Archivists and save bookwandering…

… or at least, that’s the plan. Wandering in layers of story, Tilly and her friend Oskar come up against dangers they could never have expected, team up with an unexpectedly familiar face, and ultimately find themselves taking on the biggest threat to stories there has ever been – with only their courage and ingenuity to help them. As well as some of their dearest fictional friends…


Tilly, Oskar, and the rest of the Pages and Co family are back – and this time, Bea is about to send Tilly and her friend Oskar to America in search of the Archivists so they can defeat the Underwoods – who want to stop people bookwandering and take away book magic forever! So off Tilly and Oskar go, on a train run by book smugglers, and into a world where long-dead authors are Archivists and where beloved characters come to help – but can Tilly and Oskar defeat the Underwoods and save Bea, and bookwandering?

The third Pages and Co book takes us to America and across the world of book magic, and on a grand adventure that Tilly and Oskar are destined to take. Much like the previous Pages and Co books, there lovely instant familiarity and presence of wonderfully magical and diverse characters pulls you into the action and takes on an epic journey. I love this series, and have all four, so now I am ready to read the fourth one as well.

I loved that Shakespeare made an appearance in this one, and his best play – well, in my opinion – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – made an appearance alongside Anne and Alice, and Sherlock Holmes as Tilly and Oskar worked hard to solve the mystery of the missing books and the stop the determined Underwoods from ruining bookwandering – with the help of a few fictional friends, of course.

The magic in these books is in the possibility of bookwandering – maybe not exactly as Tilly and Oskar are able to do it, but in a way, we all bookwander when we read because we fall into the stories when we read them, and they become a part of us just as the stories Tilly has read and loved have become a part of her – they are important to her and hold great, deep meaning to her as a person and a character.

I love that this series celebrates the magic of books, stories and reading, bringing to life something powerful and important for many around the world, with wonderful characters we can all see bits of ourselves in as we go on adventures with them. I love that reading and characters who love books are celebrated these days – it seems much more than when I was younger, and I think it is good to embrace all activities and interests in literature to let kids know it is cool to like what they like, and nobody else can take that from them. Tilly and the Map of Stories brings the idea of story and the interconnectedness of all stories to life in a fabulous way, and I absolutely loved it! I can’t wait to read The Book Smugglers next!

There was so much about this book that I loved, and it has so many layers that several reads would hopefully peel everything back and show the true magic behind this story. Anna James has created an inventive and inclusive series that celebrates words and reading, and I hope there are many more adventures for Tilly and her friends to come.

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