Sonderbooks     Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

More Info from

Rate this Book

Sonderbooks 60
    Previous Book
    Next Book

Young Adult Fiction
Children's Nonfiction
Children's Fiction
        Previous Book
        Next Book

Picture Books

2002 Stand-outs
Five-Star Books
Four-Star Books
Old Favorites
Back Issues
List of Reviews by Title
List of Reviews by Author

Links For Book Lovers

About Me
Contact Me
Post on Bulletin Board

I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


***Into the Labyrinth

by Roderick Townley

Reviewed August 16, 2003.
A Richard Jackson Book (Atheneum), New York, 2002.  254 pages.
$11.87 in hardcover on

Into the Labyrinth is a sequel to The Great Good Thing, which I reviewed last issue.  The Great Good Thing is about the lives of characters in a book when the book isn’t being read.  There was only one copy of their original book.  At the start of Into the Labyrinth, their book is back in print, and they’re stressed out at having to scamper into place every time another Reader opens it.  They don’t quite cover what would happen if two people were reading it at once, but it’s quite entertaining hearing about their mistakes (which the Reader takes for a typo) and exhaustion.

Then their book goes on the Web.  It’s a whole new world for the characters, learning how to scroll down a screen instead of staying on pages.  You can all guess the problem of the book.  Of course it’s a computer virus that threatens their very existence….

Like the earlier book, this is a fun idea, along with delightful characters.  Just don’t let your logical mind get too involved in how this would work.  I confess that I’ve never been enthusiastic about books where someone gets trapped in a computer.  I guess I know a little bit too much about computers to see them in magical terms or to picture a virus as a snarling beast.  (The only such book for which I thoroughly bought the premise was Heir Apparent, by Vivian Vande Velde, because in that book it was a video game of the future directly connected to the user’s brain.  Also, they didn’t start picturing the computer’s hardware, just the people who were already in the game.)

Despite the plot not working well for me, I did enjoy this book.  Sylvie, the princess, is a delightful person to spend time with, and the idea of living book characters is fun to play with, too.  It was amusing when they added a yoga teacher into the book to help the characters deal with their stress.  Sembach library customers, I think you can enjoy this book without having read the first one.


Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

-top of page-