The Lost Wonderland Diaries
By J. Scott Savage
Something monstrous has been found in the magic world of Wonderland and it wants to get out.
Lewis Carroll created a curious and fantastical world in his classic book Alice in Wonderland, but he secretly recorded the true story of his actual travels to Wonderland in four journals which have been lost to the world…until now.
Celia and Tyrus discover the legendary Lost Diaries of Wonderland and fall into a portal that pulls them into the same fantasy world as the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. However, Wonderland has vastly changed. A darkness has settled over the land, and some creatures and characters that Tyrus remembers from the book have been transformed into angry monsters.
Celia and Tyrus make their way through this unpredictable and dangerous land, helped by familiar friends including the Cheshire Cat and a new character, Sylvan, a young rabbit. Together, they desperately work to solve puzzles and riddles, looking for a way out of Wonderland. But the danger increases when the Queen of Hearts begins hunting them. Believing the two young visitors hold the key to opening multiple portals to multiple worlds, she will stop at nothing to capture them.
It’s up to Celia and Tyrus to save Wonderland and the real world. It’s a race against time before they are trapped in Wonderland forever. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.
I couldn’t wait to read Savage’s newest middle-grade book because I LOVED The Mysteries of Cove series. He’s an author that always has me rooting for his characters.
Would The Lost Wonderland Diaries live up to both Savage’s reputation and the genius of the original? That might seem like a lot to ask of one man.
Here’s the skinny – I think Savage is brilliant. Not only does he play with the original scenes we all know, he adds to Wonderland with a twist and new storyline. As soon as I saw the tricky numbers and hungry crocodile, I knew I’d entered Wonderland. Some of my highlights without giving big spoilers include a white rabbit (I want to pet you), a mad tea party (definitely an elbows on the table affair), Cheshire (he can come live with me anytime – I’m sure we’d get along because he knows what it takes to be a good friend), the ball (books with dancing are awesome whether you keep your head or not) , the twisty twist at the end (oh, you clever, clever author – I’ll read more to see how you pull off the magic tricks again).
Outside of the fanciful plot, I loved the characters. Both Celia and Tyrus with their different interests and strengths are the perfect avatars to take us on this unique journey to save Wonderland. Don’t we all live a line between logic and imagination? These two ideas come into play throughout the story as the characters work through who they are and what Wonderland needs.
I’ve experienced some characteristics of dyslexia: mixing up words, sentence structure, and a couple of letters. Because of this mild experience, I really enjoyed Celia who is dyslexic and great at math (True confession: I am not great at math). I worked in an elementary school art program at the class level which included children who experience neurodiversity. They have so many strengths not seen in traditional learning environments and often excelled in art. This book is a celebration of our differences. I believe Celia is a character all children can cheer for and love.
Tyrus is equally delightful because of his love of books, acceptance of others, and enthusiasm. The two kids complement one another. He is excited to be in Wonderland and anxious to save it no matter the cost. Celia is hesitant and focused on logic, ready to get home. Books are built on great characters even more than clever ideas. As Celia and Tyrus work their way through Wonderland’s problems, they build a friendship of give and take. They value and respect one another. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all learned these same lessons?
Savage handles the heart of the story with a deft hand. He lets the readers draw their own conclusions. I believe children will adore the adventure, and tuck the lessons away in their heart, not even knowing they learned while having fun.
I highly recommend this book, but only if you want a fun adventure.
How will you save Wonderland?
If you loved The Lost Wonderland Mysteries, read J. Scott Savages other books!
You also might want to try Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca, Story Thieves by James Riley, and Sherlock Academy by F. C. Shaw.