Sage and the Journey to Wishworld

Shana Muldoon Zappa and Ahmet Zappa with Catherine R. Daly. Disney Press, $6.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-4231-6643-6
The husband-and-wife Zappas launch their 12-book Star Darlings series, part of a multimedia property that will include animated shorts, dolls, apps, and music. The novels spotlight the dozen Starling Academy students who are tapped to grant the wishes of the inhabitants of Wishworld, which sounds quite a bit like Earth. Since the positive energy generated by young Wishers powers Starland, the Star Darlings' missions will save their own world's dire energy crisis. This first entry focuses on determined, adventurous Sage, who travels to Wishworld on a shooting star to identify her chosen Wisher and fulfill her wish within the allotted time. The authors ground their fantasy with such real-life tangles as feeling left out, coping with mean girls, and not judging others, while stuffing the pages with details about the girls' outfits and accouterments, as well as unoriginal thematic adjectives like "startacular" and "starmendous." Substantial exposition and backstory regarding the Star Darlings' world makes for slow-going reading, though the story picks up once Sage starts her mission. Available simultaneously: Libby and the Class Election. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/2015
Release date: 09/15/2015
Genre: Children's
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