I was feeling all “fantasy’ed out” until I read an ARC of this awesome middle grade graphic novel, No One Returns from the Enchanted Fort by Robin Robinson. This story about two goblin sisters with drastically different personalities warmed my heart and had me glued copy, furiously turning pages to find out what happened next.
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The summary, from Amazon:
In this fantasy adventure graphic novel, a shy goblin must play the role of hero.
They say no one returns from the Enchanted Forest―but that won’t discourage Pella. Earthquakes are destroying her village, and worst of all, they’ve caused the Midsummer Festival to be canceled. According to legend, the Earth Queen is to blame for these violent quakes―and the Earth Queen’s tower lies at the heart of the Enchanted Forest. Late one night, Pella sneaks away to find the Earth Queen and give her a piece of her mind. But she’s not afraid―she’s never afraid.
It’s Bix, Pella’s sister, who does the worrying for both of them. She’s the one, after all, who was tasked with keeping her sister safe after they lost their parents. But despite her fears and the very real dangers that lie ahead, Bix will do anything to protect her little sister―even walk into the Enchanted Forest with only a ball of yarn to guide them home.
They say no one returns from the Enchanted Forest. Will Bix and Pella be the first?
Buy No One Returns From the Enchanted Forest here.
From the opening line, I was hooked on this one. “The trouble with wishes is that sometimes they don’t come true. Worries, on the other hand, always seem to come to fruition, one way or another.” Bix is a worrier, constantly lecturing and caring for her headstrong, feisty little sister Pella. The differences in their personalities are so sharp and something children with siblings might be able to relate to.
This was a really fun story with colorful, fun artwork that reminded me of some popular cartoons. I really enjoyed the constant repetition of, “No one returns from the enchanted forest!” But between Bix, who cares so much about her little sister, and Pella, the spirited young goblin who has left the forest to give a goddess a piece of her mind, if anyone is going to make it out of the forest alive, it’s clear it will be these two.
The backmatter in this one is also lovely. There is a map, bestiary, and information on all of the different species of human-like creatures that are encountered throughout the course of the book.
No One Returns From the Enchanted Forest is a truly fun graphic novel for elementary school and middle grade that really captivated even my adult imagination.
Find out more about how I rate books here.
No One Returns from the Enchanted Forest by Robin Robinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My favorite graphic novel of 2021 so far!
Book Club Questions
- Do you have a sibling, friend, or relative who is very different from you? How do you get along? Why do you think this is?
- Who undergoes the most character development in this story – Bix, Pella, or another character?
Interested? Buy No One Returns From the Enchanted Forest.
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