Moving hasn't been this challenging before for Poppy. This time all the plans that used to work, don't anymore, and Poppy can't find her people in this new school where there is a bully or two and kids have no interest in magic or reading. On top of that, Poppy feels that her parents don't know her or understand her at all.
Poppy's passion for books and magic ends up making her fall into a trap and be tricked by a nymph (from the old ancient magic world). This creature is quite upset with humans' disrespect for nature and uses Poppy for her revenge tricking Poppy into a bargain. Poppy gets a winged lion, but magic has a cost, affecting the lives of those around her in a negative way.
I love the references to famous books. I noticed this book is great for fans of Neverending Story and that was one of the books that changed my life, I still have it. I truly believed it was magic. I'm so glad that I came across Poppy's story. In a way, with each chapter, I felt I was her closest friend as Bastian once was to Atreyu. Poppy's story is definitely a keeper too.
I love that the author makes us think of what would happen if a certain book had never been written at all. So much good and knowledge comes from experiencing one story at one point in our lives, including lessons and knowledge that shape us or our paths, and our dreams. How the disappearance of a book from ancient Greek, for example, could be catastrophic in today's society, which scares me a lot when it comes to cancel culture. For example, the teacher mentions that by reading The Odyssey he understood heroes make mistakes too, and made him a better person.
Poppy makes also mistakes, but her journey to correct them and be a better version of herself is what makes it all worthwhile. By having knowledge from books, and understanding good or bad, she is equipped with the right tools to make the right choices. The author's wonderful writing takes us along on this journey of finding one's voice.
For those who love fantasy but keep it at some distance I thought this was one of the most creative ways to write "an imaginary" friend and a coming-of-age story. For those who keep fantasy close, we understand that there is a friend in each book to keep our loneliness away.
Explores themes such as loneliness, isolation, doubt in own's voice, standing up for the things and people you love, defending those in need (even when they don't deserve it), love for books, love for family, respecting individuality, awareness of others, respecting other's oddities, new school, new friendships, moving from isolation and silence to honesty and community, finding a voice, strength in family and community ties.