Tilly and the Book Wanderers by Anna James

A magical adventure to delight the imagination. A curl-up-on-the-sofa debut from a uniquely talented author.

Eleven year-old Tilly has lived above her grandparents’ bookshop ever since her mother disappeared shortly after she was born. Like the rest of her family, Tilly loves nothing more than to escape into the pages of her favourite stories.

One day Tilly realises that classic children’s characters are appearing in the shop through the magic of `book wandering’ – crossing over from the page into real life.

With the help of Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago, so she bravely steps into the unknown, unsure of what adventure lies ahead and what dangers she may face.

This is an ode to readers and the magic of books and that feeling of belonging when you’re completely absorbed by a good story.

This book is definitely magical and just gives you that gushy feeling when you read a book that is so good it takes you out of this world and into it’s own. It is a book where the characters literally have the ability to travel into their favorite books. The characters, the settings, the experiences are all REAL. It is absolutely satisfying and also made me a bit jealous, not going to lie.

Let’s talk about it just a bit, shall we?

Tilly lives with her grandparents and they never talk about her parents and it just feels like something is missing in her life. She discovers a family secret that is both incredible and also completely plausible in this story- they can travel into books! She and her new best friend Oskar end up on some bookish adventures as they discover more about her mother’s disappearance and who her father was.

Tilly is headstrong and has a sense for adventure as even though she tends to be pretty level-headed she isn’t too shy about diving into the adventures as they present themselves in order to get answers.

I just really liked the idea of bookwandering y’know because none of us have ever dreamed of such a thing… ever…right?? right?? But it’s the fact that you can even get characters OUTSIDE of their stories and just come and talk to you in the real world. The mystery of what happened to Tilly’s parents and holy moly when you find out about one of them in particular. I had a weird guess about one and it was pretty close to the truth but the other was quite a shocker. But it’s about a kid trying to fit in, and finding comfort in books, feeling at ease with characters and then bonding with someone and trusting him enough to bring him into the madness. I really like Tilly and Oskar’s dynamic so far and can tell it’s only going to get more interesting in the following books.

I will definitely be picking up the rest of these at some point. I think this book is a sort of homage to all of us who have found ourselves so consumed in a story that reality doesn’t phase us for a while. Those of us who get so invested in characters that we feel like they’re old friends when we get a chance to revisit them if only for a moment.

Also note: apparently the US and UK versions have a slight title change: UK it’s “Tilly and the Book Wanderers” US we just drop Tilly I guess, same story though

Later book nerds,


3 thoughts on “Tilly and the Book Wanderers by Anna James

  1. Oh, my goodness. I love this! It sounds so sweet and(Holy crap.. I want to be able to travel into books!) I’m going to have to read it.
    Thank you for sharing this and your wonderful review!


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