MMGM: Storybound by Marissa Burt

by Marissa Burt
Harper, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-202052-9
MG Fantasy
Grades 4-6
Reviewed from purchased copy.


In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them.

In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story.

But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself....

With the timeless appeal of books like A Wrinkle in Time and the breathtaking action of Inkheart, Storybound has all the makings of a new classic. Brimming with fantastical creatures, magical adventure, and heart-stopping twists, Storybound will leave readers wishing they too could jump through the pages into this enchanting fairy-tale world.


Marissa Burt writes middle grade fantasy and is represented by Laura Langlie of the Laura Langlie Literary Agency. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, and drifted eastward, living in Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, and South Carolina, before coming back home to the Pacific Northwest.

Along the way, she studied Sociology, Ancient Languages, and Theology and clocked hours as a social worker, barista, 5th grade teacher, bookseller, faculty assistant, and reference librarian. But not all at the same time.

Marissa now lives in the Seattle area with her husband and three sons where she enjoys time spent around family, friends, and good books.


I'll start off by saying that I loved this book.  I enjoyed the characters, Una, Peter, and Indy, especially, but I even connected a bit with Snow White despite her bullying tendencies.  I like the world that the author created around fairy tales, the land of Story, where people/creatures train to enter a story and then live out the story before returning home to their 'regular' lives.  The plot moved quickly and intricately through Una's unexpected arrival in the land of Story during Peter's 'practical' through the surprises and shocks of life in hiding.

I appreciated that the characters felt three dimensional to me, Peter and Una are great characters but they make mistakes along the way. I also appreciated how Snow White who tries to bully Una, is presented as more than a bully, but a girl who has experienced much heart-ache and rejection in her life.  This adds a nice twist to the story.

Plotwise, there were some expected revelations, but also some unexpected twists and turns which always makes for a more interesting read.  There were plenty of hints here and there leading up to the climax and some of the plot elements I was able to predict but others I did not, this makes for a fun read. I admired the creativity exhibited in this story.  Little things like classes such as Outdoor Experiential Questing, and testing of one's Villain's laugh and the whole concept of Talemasters who kept the books with the 'tales' from Story's past.  I'm a sucker for books about the value of books. :)  I also found the underlying theme about history and how the way we view our history depends a great deal on how it is presented to us and who is telling the story.  I found this a great read and can't wait to read the sequel, Story's End, coming out next year.

Be sure to check out the other great Middle Grade recommendations over at Shannon Messenger's website.


  1. I have this one to read. I picked it up because the cover is so stunning and I loved the synopsis. I really enjoyed your review and will have to move the book up my list. Sounds like a fun story to fall into!

  2. I lovelovelove fairytales and this book sounds perfect!

  3. Saw this one as it came out and was waiting for someone to review it! Thank you! I will move it onto my "To-read" list. :)

  4. I've had this book on my radar for a while, but haven't yet had time to read it. You might have convinced me to finally pick it up.

  5. That's some pretty high praise for this book. What was your final star rating for this one? Have a nice weekend Heidi! :)

  6. Very interesting addition to the Kid Lit Blog Hop! Una's character sketch left me wanting to read it. I can identify with her a lot. Enjoy your hopping!

  7. I love that it's a 12-yr old as the main character. My daughter (13) loves to find the characters that are about her age when she's reading (don't we all? ). :)

    I'm a little late (life got in my way this weekend), but hopping around from the Lit Hop!


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