cover image Strangeworlds Travel Agency (Strangeworlds Travel Agency #1)

Strangeworlds Travel Agency (Strangeworlds Travel Agency #1)

L.D. Lapinski. Aladdin, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8351-4

Twelve-year-old Flick’s move from city life to the village of Little Wyverns takes her farther from her dreams of adventuring beyond the U.K.’s borders—with parents occupied by opposite work shifts and her demanding baby brother, Flick fends for herself in the boring village. But Little Wyverns is home to a “tiny, squashed-looking” travel agency that secretly houses the Strangeworlds Society, whose collection of 743 suitcases each contains a portal to another world. When the suitcases’ 18-year-old custodian, Jonathan Mercator—whose family founded the society nearly 150 years ago—discovers that Flick has the rare ability to see magic, he offers to make her the first new society member in years, and enlists her help in tracking down his missing father. Lapinski takes time to build a layered friendship between Flick and Jonathan, both cued as white, in this well-paced, ebullient fantasy, while sending them via cleverly imagined portable portals to a handful of worlds, including a crystal-studded giant forest. The series opener poses more questions than it answers, but it lays a potential-filled foundation for subsequent books, introducing an absorbing multiverse of interlocking realities and several intriguing mysteries. Ages 8–12. [em](May) [/em]