"Once Upon a Time" is the beginning to many wonderful stories but I really love the beginning of author Jonathan Auxier's newest book Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard. This book begins with "It has often been said that one should never judge a book by its cover." This book has a nice cover but the story is so great that once you begin reading you won't want to put it down. You might still admire the cover but you will LOVE the story within the pages.
Sophie is a young girl who works repairing books at her family's bookstore. She doesn't remember her mother since her mother's death occurred when she was very young. When a mysterious book (the Book of Who) is brought to Sophie to repair and she finds her mother's name in the book, Sophie begins a life changing quest to find out more about her mother. Peter Nimble and his friend Sir Tode are the two that bring the book to Sophie from Professor Cake. Professor Cake advises the trio that they must work together to find and protect four books (The Book of Who, The Book of What The book of Where and the Book of When) that will save the world, not just Sophie's town of Bustleburgh. Professor Cake tells them that "worlds and everything in them are made real by the stories that inhabit them...stories are a type of magic spell...the impossible becomes a little more possible. When a populations loses its stories, it loses its capacity for wonder...what remains is a life of drudgery and toil." You see the inquisitor of Bustleburgh is insisting that all the books be burned on Prye day. He believes that the "nonsense" of books is not needed in the world and he will stop at nothing to make sure all the books are destroyed. He even wants to find the books that Sophie, Peter and Sir Tode are trying to save.
Many times Sophie and others face death to fulfill their quest. They find friends and enemies as they travel near and far. I think one of the best parts of the story is when the books begin to fly and tell their own stories. Imagine so many books sharing their marvelous stories at once! Can Sophie really be the last Storyguard? Can she really do this important job? She must because if we lose our stories we lose "what if" and we don't want that to ever happen.
There is advice from the author too! He suggests that if the reader ever meets an author he/she should shower the author with gifts and praise. I haven't had the chance to meet Mr. Auxier but I hope he accepts my praise for this book in my review and perhaps a gift if we ever do meet.
Happy Daily Reading