The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
The Land of Neverendings
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Emily’s sister Holly has died, and nothing will ever be the same at home: Holly’s bedroom is an empty cave that Emily is scared to walk past at night. Emily’s also just started at secondary school, and she doesn’t understand why her best friend Maze is ignoring her, just when she needs her the most.
As well as missing Holly, Emily also really misses Bluey, Emily’s toy bear. Creating their shared imaginary landscape about Bluey’s adventures in the magical land of Smockeroon was something the sister loved to do together.
But one day, Emily starts having dreams about Bluey. And when Ruth, who runs the antique shop next door, starts seeing her dead son’s toys come alive, both of them come to understand that Smockeroon is a real place, powered by imagination, where the spirits of toys live; and that the door between Smockeroon and their world has been left open.
While this is an honest book about bereavement, it’s also a beautiful and often very funny book about imagination, family and love. The swift pacing of the story and the fantastic characterisation of the toys takes the reader on a perfectly balanced journey between a deep poignancy and joyful humour.