Tuesday, March 15, 2016
By Sam Gayton
Peachtree Publishers, 2015. Fiction. 264p.
Inspired by the classic novel Gulliver’s Travels, this middle grade book introduces Lily, a three-inch tall Lilliputian. She is kidnapped by Gulliver and taken far across the sea to 18th century London where he intends to use her as proof that the country of Lilliput exists. Kept in a birdcage while Gulliver works on his manuscript, she attempts to escape 33 times, but Gulliver catches her each time and punishes her by stuffing her in an itchy, smelly sock for days. Finally, however, Finn, a human boy apprenticed to an evil clockmaker, discovers Lily’s existence and helps her to escape. Now on their own in London and running from two pursuers, the new friends are in more danger than ever.
This story is full of action and adventure, including exciting chases, clockwork devices, talking parrots, and a kindly giant of a chocolate-shop owner. Lily is a tough and determined heroine with her trusty needle-sword named “Stabber,” and she and Finn are a great team as they learn about loyalty and sacrifice from each other. The author does a nice job of imagining the difficulties Lily would face in a “giant’s” world, from climbing human-sized stairs and fighting off rats to escaping little girls who think she is a living doll and want to love her too much.