This is the final novel in Anna James’s Pages & Co trilogy. When a book presents the climax in a series it is often the case that a reader must have read the preceding books in the series if the new volume is to be satisfactorily read. In this case however James’s book could be read with pleasure independently of Tilly and the Bookwanderers and Tilly and the Lost Fairy Tales, a most unusual accomplishment on the part of the author.
In this volume Tilly and her best friend Oskar must figure out a fundamental problem. In some way that is not understood something has terminated the practice of Bookwandering whereby readers can temporarily find themselves transported inside the world of the story they are reading. The two friends must determine why this satisfying mode of reading has been stopped and what must be done to restore it.
Escobar’s illustrations serve to draw the reader irresistibly into the world that James has created. The most impressive feature of James’s book is the scope of that world. The world of the book is as far reaching in scope as the world of Harry Potter. The pair of friends must visit the Library of Congress. So far so mundane. But they must also visit the long lost Library of Alexandria, somewhat less mundane. And they are assisted in their quest by none other than William Shakespeare. The value of the book to a potential reader is the way it recognises reading as a transformative experience with the capability of expanding the reader’s horizon of thought and feeling.