cover image The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes

The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes

Kelly Easton, , illus. by Greg Swearingen. . Random/Lamb, $15.99 (217pp) ISBN 978-0-375-83771-5

The life of Liberty “Libby” Aimes is straight out of one of the fairy tales she holds dear. To begin with, her extremely overweight mother, Sal, and rail-thin, scheming father, Mal, keep her locked in their decrepit house like Cinderella, “waiting on her parents hand and foot, dodging their insults like a beleaguered catcher.” Libby dreams of freedom and attending Sullivan (a competitive boarding school). While freeing animals from her father's basement laboratory, she manages to escape by air with a “lifting soda” and see the world on her own. Liberty is a mature 10-year-old and interested in the complete picture of life as a result of her love of reading. Her ability to communicate with everything from pigeons to circus lions (thanks to her father's “comprehension cream”) makes for a full adventure. While Liberty's trust in people and openness often brings trouble, her belief that “destiny wasn't something you accomplished by yourself” carries her through. The plot meanders and the narration is occasionally precious, but Liberty's quirks and warm heart are consistently charming. Playful illustrations top off Easton's (White Magic ) gently humorous, highly imaginative tale. Ages 8–12. (June)