cover image Travel Far, Pay No Fare

Travel Far, Pay No Fare

Anne Morrow Lindbergh. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (199pp) ISBN 978-0-06-021775-4

An intended fantasy-adventure story is instead a tedious labyrinth of events connecting parental remarriage, time travel and reading appreciation. Owen resents the fact that his divorced mother, a prolific children's book author, is marrying her deceased sister's husband. Leaving Boston, starting junior high in rural Vermont, and soon having weird cousin Parsley, age nine, as a sister requires considerable acclimation. The equally displeased girl secretly schemes to stop the impending nuptials. Using a magic bookmark, she brings home cats featured in classic novels, thus tormenting her allergic aunt. When Parsley tells Owen, a reluctant reader, about her ``travels,'' he's incredulous, until he too is transported to stories such as Alice in Wonderland , Little Women and The Yearling . Lindbergh's voice occasionally intrudes upon Owen's narrative; ``I'd blush to invade someone's privacy'' and ``glutinous yellow'' are not a 12-year-old's phrases. Extolling the pleasures of reading is a worthy enterprise, but only ardent bibliophiles will stick with these unappealing characters and convoluted plot. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)