Thursday, January 29, 2015

Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks

Several months ago my friend, Colby Sharp, began raving about a book he was reading. Finding Serendipity was that book. I looked it up online and immediately was impatient to read it. When the ARC arrived at my house, I excused myself for the day and curled up with the novel.

 While my students know I often struggle to begin a book, taking some time to fall in love with new characters, I didn’t have that issue with Finding Serendipity. I immediately grew to love Tuesday McGillycuddy and her amazing dog, Baxterr. (Yes, there is a double r on purpose.) Tuesday is the kind of character I love. She seems real. She’s kind, curious, and brave. She feels like she could reside in my classroom just as easily as she does between the pages of this novel. More than anything, I love the fact that I have at least fifteen students that I know will love Tuesday just as much as I do. She is a character they will cherish.

In this book, Tuesday’s mom is the amazingly talented – and famous – author, Serendipity Smith. Serendipity has written a hugely popular novel series that follows the story of a girl named Vivienne Small. In Finding Serendipity, Tuesday’s mom, Serendipity, has disappeared. Tuesday and Baxterr have to go on an quest to find her and bring her home. Along the way, Tuesday discovers hidden secrets that have been in front of her all along and, also, she discovers talents she didn’t know she had.

While absolutely a fantasy story, parts of Finding Serendipity felt so real to me. It would be a great bridge book for my students who love realistic fiction, but want to being to venture into the waters of fantasy stories. At the end, I was beyond sad to leave this world that author Angelica Banks has created. Angelica Banks is a pen name for two friends, Heather Rose and Danielle Wood, who decided to try writing this book together. I’m thrilled to see that Finding Serendipity is just the first book in a planned series. I cannot wait to see what Tuesday and Baxterr are up to next.