Tuesday, July 31, 2018

MG Realistic Fiction: Wonderland by Barbara O'Connor

Wonderland by Barbara O'Connor
Format:  E ARC
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Number of pages:  288
Publishing: August 28th, 2018
Source:  Edelweiss Plus 

Opening Line:  "Mavis Jeeter sat on the bus stop bench beside her mother and whispered goodbye to Hadley, Georgia."

School has just let out for the summer and Mavis Jeeter has found out that her mother has taken a new job, this time in Alabama as a housekeeper for the Tully's.  There's a huge part of Mavis that wishes her mother could just stay in one place, it gets so hard to find your best friend when you're constantly moving.  This time though Mavis vows things will be different cause the Tully's have a girl her age and even though she doesn't know it yet, they're going to be the best of friends.  

Rose Tully has a difficult time making friends, she worries a lot about what other people think and follows all of her mother's rules.   The highlight of her day is going to visit Mr. Duffy at the gatehouse to Magnolia Estates, but lately, Mr. Duffy hasn't been himself.  He doesn't whistle while he works, hasn't shown her a magic trick in weeks and ever since his dog Queenie died, he seems sadder.  Mr. Duffy has been making mistakes at his job and the neighbors are getting angry with his performance.  

Henry is the greyhound dog that has been hanging around the estates looking for food, and when Mavis and Rose find out about him they set out to coax him out of the woods.  If they can just capture Henry and bring him to Mr. Duffy, he won't be so sad anymore.  

Mavis and Rose are polar opposites, Mavis is bold, unafraid, speaks her mind.  A force to be reckoned with.  Whereas, Rose is constantly worried about breaking her mother's rules, especially when it comes to exploring outside of her neighborhood.  They both are looking for a best friend and think they've found it in each other.  Mavis helps Rose to be brave and take risks, while Rose helps Mavis to see how she needs to take other peoples feelings and wants into consideration.  These two girls argue and disagree, but ultimately are best friends.  Wonderland is told from the alternating perspectives of Mavis, Rose, and Henry, and what a sweet dog Henry is.  He's looking for attention and love, and despite Mr. Duffy's initial reluctance to take him in, Henry is just what he needed.  Wonderland is a quick read with endearing characters and a plot that is heartwarming, similar to Wish which is also by Barbara O'Connor.   


  1. Barbara O’Connor writes such wonderful stories about relationships and emotions. Thank you for sharing this one.

  2. This sounds like a colorful story with good characters.

  3. I've read How to Steal a Dog by O'Connor- but haven't read anything else by her. I do have a couple other books by her. This sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing. :)