Told in diary form by an irresistible heroine, this playful and perceptive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the May Bird trilogy sparkles with science, myth, magic, and the strange beauty of the everyday marvels we sometimes forget to notice.
Spirited, restless Gracie Lockwood has lived in Cliffden, Maine, her whole life. She’s a typical girl in an atypical world: one where sasquatches helped to win the Civil War, where dragons glide over Route 1 on their way south for the winter (sometimes burning down a T.J. Maxx or an Applebee’s along the way), where giants hide in caves near LA and mermaids hunt along the beaches, and where Dark Clouds come for people when they die.
To Gracie it’s all pretty ho-hum…until a Cloud comes looking for her little brother Sam, turning her small-town life upside down. Determined to protect Sam against all odds, her parents pack the family into a used Winnebago and set out on an epic search for a safe place that most people say doesn’t exist: The Extraordinary World. It’s rumored to lie at the ends of the earth, and no one has ever made it there and lived to tell the tale. To reach it, the Lockwoods will have to learn to believe in each other—and to trust that the world holds more possibilities than they’ve ever imagined.
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015
An IndieNext selection/Winter 2015
An American Booksellers Association Best Book of 2015
“[Infused] with effervescent magic and harrowing adventure… Anderson leaves no stone unturned as she creates characters with zest and heart, as well as settings that encompass the best of all imaginary lands.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
“[A] fun-filled, well-paced, modern adventure. Fans of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter will enjoy this heartfelt, bittersweet, and ever-so-clever coming-of-age fantasy. It is a must-add to any middle grade collection.”
— School Library Journal, starred review
“This book captured me instantly on pegasus wings, and took me on the weirdest, funniest, most heart-breaking journey to literally the edge of the world. By the last page I was totally in awe.”
—Maggie Thrash, author of Honor Girl
"Gracie’s thoughtful, fresh-eyed perspective is the perfect lens through which to view Anderson’s alternate Earth, which tweaks history and familiar landscapes to accommodate its supernatural residents….yet the crux of the story lies in the closeness of the Lockwood family, which is challenged and strained along the journey and proves to be the most magical element of all.” — Booklist
“Anderson's latest is a bit off the wall, in the best way possible… [Gracie is] a winning combination of a narrator who guides readers through her marvelous and dangerous world...with us cheering her on. Highly recommended fantasy for ages 9-12.”
— Ingram News and Reviews for the Youth Librarian
“Gracie's sparkling narrative voice is funny, smart, and convincingly ingenuous... An endearing narrator, a beguiling world that accommodates both mermaids and Pixy Stix, and a genuinely moving family story.”