David is a twelve year old boy that's just lost his mom. David's father eventually moves on with a new woman, Rose, and they have a child together. David feels left out and forgotten. He turns to books to pass his time, and finds that they whisper to him from their shelves. Slowly the characters start to come out of the books and David in to them. Eventually David finds himself within one of his books and needs to find the King to figure out how to get back home.
This is a coming of age story, mixed with fairy tales that don't end up the way we all think they do. David learns that "happily ever after" actually means "eaten quickly". David finds out he's a very brave boy and learns what is really important to him.
This book was a bit slow to get in to because it started off very cliche. A boy who hates his step-mother, how many times have we read stories like that? But once David got in to the book, I was much more interested in the story and really enjoyed the different takes on fairy tales. Snow white was a good one. This was a fun read, with a lot of extra (and unnecessary) bits at the end about the fairy tales used.
First Line: "Once upon a time - for that is how all fairy tales should begin - there was a boy who lost his mother."