Down the rabbit hole and other adventures

This week’s Amazing Read encouraged us to share a childhood favorite, or have a child share a favorite with an adult.  Of course, there are those stories that bridge both worlds, just as they take us through the looking glass, over the rainbow, second star to the right, or on a leopard.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories have been analyzed for as many years as they have been enjoyed.  L. Frank Baum’s OZ tales can be picked apart to reflect the economic metaphors and international concerns of the times.  But for most readers what draws them to these stories is the exploration of the bizarre.  I recently read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, which takes us on an adventure with the familiar feel of Wonderland.  You’ll find clever wordplay, intriguing creatures and characters, and an adventure of growing up.  The story takes its time, but the journey itself is the enjoyable part as we meet a Wyverary (mother is a wyvern and father is a library), witches, gnomes styled like Rosie the Riveter, and much more.  It had a very dark tone at times making it much more appropriate for teens to adults.

While so many of these adventure stories appeal to a young audience, they speak to adults as well.  Sometimes we grownups need an escape to Neverland, too.

Here are some of my favorite adventures down the rabbit hole.  What are yours?

Alice in Wonderland; and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Peter Pan by James M. Barrie
The Wonderful Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Abarat by Clive Barker
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones