Beyond the Kingdoms

(The Land of Stories: Bk. 4). 7 CDs. 9 hrs. Hachette Audio. 2015. $25. ISBN 9781478904076. digital download.
Gr 3–7—Twins Alex and Connor, along with Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Mother Goose, and other characters chase a masked man—the twins' uncle—into stories such as The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland. He is always a step ahead and bargains for troops to take over the kingdoms in the fairy world. Alex and Connor wind up separated in the stories of King Arthur and Robin Hood, needing to create a potion and get back to Oz. Peter Pan and the Tin Woodman join the adventures. Several subplots add depth to the narration—a girl finding genetic links to Wilhelm Grimm, Red Riding Hood marrying the Frog Prince, and a witch who takes life's energy from children. Colfer's narration is excellent, giving different voices to the many characters and keeping the pace of the rollicking story moving.
VERDICT Adults will appreciate references to Hans Christian Andersen and other classic tales, while children will just appreciate good stories on their own terms.

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