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Rebecca's World: 01/01/12

cover art

At the start of 2010, my friend Linda made a quick post about a favorite children's novel she was re-reading, Rebecca's World by Terry Nation. On that alone I added it to my wishlist and eighteen months after doing that, it bubbled to the top of my list and I was able to cross it off. I'm glad I paid attention to her post.

Rebecca's World was Terry Nation's first children's novel. It's in the style of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum or any number of other fantasies where a young girl travels to a far off land and becomes a hero as she tries to find her way home.

In this case, Rebecca is beamed to a far off planet which I think is the only time I've read that set up in an otherwise traditional fantasy. If there are others, please recommend them in the comments! Rebecca after being called horrible and all sorts of other things by the perturbed scientist sets out to find her own way home.

She is quickly attacked by GHOSTS (always in all caps) and when she's rescued she learns about the environmental disaster that has given the GHOSTS free reign over the land. She and her new companions set out to fix the problem, based on the clues of an old riddle and represented graphically on the endpapers as an intricate and gorgeous series of connected mazes.

Rebecca's World ended up being part traditional quest to get home mixed together with social commentary and an environmental message. All these elements are held together by Larry Learmonth's pen and ink drawings — most of which are in black and white and some of which are colored.

Three stars

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