Middle Grade Monday: Review – Tilly and the Bookwanderers (Pages & Co #1) by Anna James

MG MOnday

Hey everyone!  We’ve moved Middle-Grade Monday over from our TBR and Beyond Facebook Group to the blog! Hopefully we can bring you lots of great reviews, topics and maybe even some author interviews!
I’m a massive middle-grade fan, and I’m always trying to get people to give it a shot! Hopefully these reviews will give you a better idea if you want to try out the books or not! That is the goal anyway!


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Pages: 400
Pacing: Normal
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: September 18th, 2018




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. – synopsis from Goodreads

“Be brave, be curious, be kind.” 

Be still my middle-grade literary heart! Tilly and the Bookwanders is such a treasure of a book and what reader doesn’t look a book about books? I dare you to try and find out! Impossible!!

This was a book that was on one of my good friend’s Christmas wishlist. I had never heard of it, but when I ordered her the book, I might have ordered a second copy for myself and I have zero regrets after reading it. Tilly and The Bookwanders is such a sweet story about a young girl, named Tilly, that lives with her grandparents in a wonderful little family owned bookstore, called Pages & Co. Tilly spends most of her time nose-deep in children’s classics such as Anne of Green Gables, The Little Princess and Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland. The characters are precious to her and she’s isolated herself at school so badly that the characters in the books are really her only friends. Tilly also is quite lonely and doesn’t understand why her mother left her at a young age and what happened to her, her grandparents won’t give many details and they don’t seem to know what happened to her either. Turns out that one day while Tilly is reading one of her favorite classics, Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland just pops out of her story and from there the real adventures begin.

Tilly and the Bookwanders is a really positive and fun story. Tilly is intelligent, brave, flawed but most importantly she never gives up. Her friendship with another young boy, Oskar really develops into a genuine and fun friendship and I adored seeing them take adventures with different beloved book characters. I don’t want to go into detail about how or why Tilly is able to talk to this characters, you’ll find that out soon enough if you pick the book up.

One of the things that honestly caught me off guard about this one, was that there was a genuinely interesting mystery happening around her about her mother’s whereabouts and where that plot goes is actually such a great twist. I never saw it coming and I thought it was brilliant. There are a lot of family and friendship themes in this story and the grandparents may not be the most generous with giving details about their missing daughter (they are in a lot of pain themselves over it), but they are loving and supportive and doing their absolute best for Tilly. I really appreciate seeing different family units in middle-grade and I appreciate it even more when they are loving and involved, which these grandparents very much are.

Another thing I loved about this book was the setting – a lot of it takes place in a cozy, family owned bookstore. I mean you can imagine it so easy and it makes it that much easier to really get into the story and put yourself in Tilly’s space. The ending of this one does leave a lot of unanswered questions and a cliffhanger, but thankfully another book is coming to hopefully shed some light on all of that.

I highly recommend checking out this book. I’m a huge believer that there is no age on any category of book and this has lots to offer all ages. It would be a wonderful book to read as a family and I think children as young as six years old could enjoy this one, with a little help. Also, for the cover buy readers out there – not only is the cover adorable but the actual naked book is BEAUTIFUL. It has drawings all over it and I just love it.



11 thoughts on “Middle Grade Monday: Review – Tilly and the Bookwanderers (Pages & Co #1) by Anna James

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