The Glimme (Emily Rodda, illus by Marc McBride, Scholastic)
The Glimme starts in a perfectly ordinary and dull fishing village with a boy called Finn sketching dragons and monsters. But it’s not long before Finn is standing in front of a set of spectacular paintings in an old, empty manor, being urged by the severe housekeeper who brought him there to look closer. And it’s not long after that that Finn finds himself inside the paintings, in a ravaged fantastical world on a desperate quest to stop a deadly war with dragons. The Glimme is exactly what Emily Rodda does best: it’s a story that offers a doorway to another, more magical world—one you might just be able to see if you have the right heart. Reading it made me feel the wonder and excitement I felt when I first read Rowan of Rin as a 10-year-old; it was like welcoming a familiar old friend back into my life. In addition to the wonderful story is Marc McBride’s excellent imaginative illustrations, which will have kids revisiting the book over and over again. The Glimme is a beautifully simple and traditional quest story and it doesn’t need to be anything more than what it is. It’s a perfect introduction to the genre for all kids aged seven and up.
Dani Solomon is the assistant manager of Readings Kids