Tom has always admired his six older brothers who have followed in their father’s footsteps as adventurers. They are handsome and brave and courageously complete the tales the Story Bureau begins for them in the Land of Stories. Not quite twelve, Tom must remain at home with his mother, but he does not mind. Deep down, he fears the dangers his brothers face as they develop these stories. He knows, however, that on his next birthday he will begin his training as an adventurer and hopes he will have the daring required to be a true hero.
When Tom’s twelfth birthday arrives, his brothers fail to return home to celebrate. His assignment from the Story Bureau is still delivered, and Tom learns that his brothers’ absence is no coincidence. Someone has tampered with the stories his brothers were meant to live out. Now Tom must find them and put the Land of Stories back on track.
Young readers will enjoy this unconventional take on traditional fairy tales. Beck weaves several fairy tales into his book, adding a twist that is both humorous and engaging. Although his brothers seem a bit shallow, Tom is a delightful young boy whose games, desires and fears are wholly realistic. His sense of duty helps him set aside his own trepidation and he learns that much of his anxiety is really in his imagination.
Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher living in Ridgewood, NJ.