The Land of Stories: the Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
Book description from Amazon...(minus the spoilers!!)
When Alex and Conner's father unexpectedly dies, the twins lose the person who always had the perfect story to cheer them up. Then, on their 12th birthday, their grandmother gives them the book of fairy tales he used to read to them. Suddenly it seems to come to life, and the youngsters find themselves falling into the Land of Stories, seemingly with no way to get out. Desperate, they follow instructions in a mysterious journal: if they gather eight items from various residents in the kingdoms of the Land of Stories, they can complete the Wishing Spell and have one wish granted. After scaling castle walls, diving deep into the home of mermaids, and meeting characters from all of the beloved fairy tales, they are stymied by the Evil Queen, who has escaped from Snow White's dungeon. With the hope of using the spell gone, the twins appear to have no way home until they meet Fairy Godmother.
My 25 cents...This book was recommended to my by a middle school student who also happens to be a Glee fan. (Author is on the tv show Glee) I have always been a pushover for fairytales, so learning "more" about those characters was a definite draw for me. This book really kept me turning pages. There is enough suspense and action happening to make me not want to stop reading and enough humor (usually in sarcasm between brother and sister) to make it fun as well. I could see this being a fun read-aloud for a family with kids of different ages, as there is a little something for everyone. The combining of the fairy tale characters reminds me of the first Shrek movie!