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Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi is one of the most fascinatingly beautiful books I have read in recent memory. I finished it (the audiobook version) in less than a day.

The Story

In a fantastical land where color and magic are intimately connected, Alice is born completely without color. There’s nothing Alice longs for more than color of her own. Nothing, that is, except the return of her beloved father. The chance to find and rescue him comes unexpectedly in the boy Oliver, who Alice neither likes nor trusts. To save her father, they must travel to the land of Furthermore, a place even more fantastical, topsy-turvy, and dangerous than their own.

What I Loved About Furthermore

  1. Vivid Language and Imagination–Every descriptive sentence in this book is surprising in some way. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read. It’s similar to Alice in Wonderland with a thousand times more beauty, strangeness, and color. The strangeness of the world may be a turn off to some readers, especially the very literal, but I absolutely loved it.
  2. Message–Alice learns a very important lesson. She longs to have color, to look like everyone else. In the end, she learns to accept herself the way she is. This is a very relevant issue to middle-grade readers as they deal with peer pressure and media telling them they must look a certain way.

Parents Might Want to Know

  1. Strained Parental Relationship–While Alice adores her father, her relationship with her mother is strained. Her mother is neglectful, and Alice believes she doesn’t love her. This bothered me in the beginning of the story, but it is beautifully resolved in the end.
  2. Lying–Both Oliver and Alice tell a fair number of lies throughout the story. However, lying is never glorified or made to seem good.

If you love Alice in Wonderland or The Phantom Tollbooth, you’ll love Furthermore.

Did I mention that the audiobook is fantastic?

Do you or your kids enjoy books with fantastical worlds?

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