2 out of 4 stars
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Willow James and the Queen of U’i’s Crown by Jett Blackk is an imaginative children’s story. Willow James comes from a large family, and she doesn’t always feel like her parents pay enough attention to her. She is also upset because the family moved last year. At her old school, Willow fit in and had great friends. She wishes she could be happy like that again. Then, one day, Willow discovers another world. It shakes up her life, and she wonders if this is the key to what she’s missing. However, this world is in danger as long as the queen’s crown is missing. Can Willow help save this magical place, or is there too much to risk?
What I liked most about this story was the imagination. The world that Willow finds is a beautiful place full of whimsy and wonder. The descriptions of the places from forests to tree houses to beaches are detailed, and the reader can feel like they’re seeing these places. I liked that the world was essentially a fairyland. It fit well with Willow’s character, and it’s easy to see why she would be so enchanted with this place.
I found the story to be very fitting. It wasn’t too complex, but there was at least one satisfying twist. Willow is relatable and likable, though at times she can lose herself in despair. I found it a little whiny, but then I had to remind myself that she is 11, after all, and dealing with big problems. Like many children’s stories, the kids in this book can handle more than you’d expect.
Unfortunately, this book was riddled with errors. I also think there was a slightly missed opportunity in the resolution of the story. Willow has a lot of feelings, and though this book helps to normalize that, the lesson could be stronger that it’s okay to be overwhelmed or sad. The ending was a little cliché or too simple for me. Those are the only things I would criticize it for. It could be a really nice book if it went through some rigorous editing. I also think it would be well-suited to pictures, but that’s personal preference.
Overall, I would rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. The amount of errors forces me to rate it at 2, but I enjoyed the story so much I wish I could rate it at 3. It’s a cute, simple children’s story that is full of big emotions. I would recommend it to kids ready to read on their own.
Willow James and the Queen of U’i’s Crown
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