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Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers

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Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 25
25 Reviews
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A captivating, curl-up-on-the-sofa debut about the magic of books and the power of the imagination.

Since her mother's disappearance, eleven-year-old Tilly has found comfort in stories at Pages & Co., her grandparents' bookshop. But when her favourite characters, Anne of Green Gables and Alice from Wonderland, appear in the shop, Tilly's adventures become very real. Not only can she follow Anne and Alice into their thrilling worlds, she discovers she can bookwander into any story she chooses.
Tilly's new ability could even help her solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago. But danger may be lurking on the very next page...

Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers Reviews | Toppsta

9780008229863

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Series

This is Book 1 in the Pages & Co. Series. See all Pages & Co. books here.

First Line

Matilda Pages pushed open the door of Pages & Co. and breathed in deeply, taking in the familiar scent of just-blown-out candles, dark chocolate, and of course, books.

Toppsta Comment

This is a real bookish treat! We were delighted to receive an early proof of this long awaited book. The cover says "There's nothing like getting lost in a good book...As long as you can find your way out." and it's clearly a book aimed at book lovers of all ages. Set in a bookshop, with Matilda, our heroine a booklover and then mingling with well-known book characters such as Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland, it is aimed at nostalgic adults as well as children. The real treat though, is the mystery surrounding her mother's disappearance and unravelling the menace of Enoch Chalk as you jump between fictional worlds.

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19th December '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
Tallulah, aged 12, read this book and then passed it on to me (her grandmother) saying that she thought I would enjoy the story. The characters are so down to earth and believable. What adventures the main character has, just the kind I wished for when I was a child.
3rd October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
‘Pages and Co,’ has to be one of my most anticipated debuts of the year, it seems an age since I first heard a whisper about this book on Twitter and I felt instantly that it would be a book that I would absolutely adore and I was absolutely right. This is the book my 9 year old self would have slept with under my pillow and hugged to myself tightly because it is a booklover’s dream. Like Tilly in the story I was a child that would literally lock myself away and lose myself in the story, except sadly I didn’t have the magical gift that she has, the ability to be a book wanderer. For Tilly books have taken her on the most amazing adventures that she couldn’t possibly dream of in real life. She has raced across rooftops in Paris, seen the Northern Lights and learned to fly a broomstick, all through the wonder of the pages she’s read.

Anna’s glorious writing conjures up the most magnificent bookshop in the form of ‘Pages and Co,’ a virtual rabbit warren filled with hidden corners, mounds of books and hidden secrets lurking behind every corner. Since the disappearance of her mother, Tilly has lived in the bookshop with her grandparents, where she has found comfort amongst the pages of her favourite books. She is only mildly intrigued by the strange people she sees her grandparents talking to about matters such as being snubbed at a ball and complex cases, never realising that she’s not meant to see them. But she is however unnerved by the mysterious Enoch Chalk who appears to turn up in the most unexpected of places taking an unusual interest in her and watching very closely. When she discovers her special ability it changes her life forever and she soon realises this could hold the key to finding out what really happened to her mother. Spellbinding and truly magical, I was totally enchanted by the world that Anna has created and can’t wait to go wandering with Tilly again.
31st October '18
Four Lanes Junior School read it themselves aged 7 to 11
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
Pages & Co is one of the best books I have ever read. Every chapter you read, the story becomes more intriguing and manages to pull you in to a whole new universe. 

It is an adventure story that is full of wonder and magic. Tilly finds herself in an adventure that she was never expecting. 

(Mary - aged 9)
8th September '18
Annabeth read it themselves aged 8 aged 8
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
This book is amazing,I want to be a book wanderer. The story is adventurous and exciting. Everybody should read this book. I won't tell you about the story but my favourite part was Tilly meeting Anne. (You'll have to read the book to find out why!)
23rd March '19
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
Tilly and the bookwanderers is a wonderful story for any child or adult that loves to read. 
This story is about Tilly Pages a girl who lives in a bookshop called Pages and Co her grandparents shop. Ever since her fathers death and her mother's disappearance Tilly has lived with them devouring books as she like her mother loves books especially Alice in Wonderland and Anne of Greengables. 
During the school holidays she makes friends with a boy from her school Oskar whose mum owns the cafe across the road. 
During the holidays she encounters a girl called Anne, she sees her grandfather talking to a man who looks like Sherlock Holmes. She meets a girl called Alice and a stranger comes to the shop called Enoch Chalk who seems to know her grandfather who is this mysterious man and why does the two girls look like characters from her favourite books. She finds she can follow the characters into books and her grandfather tells her she's a bookwanderer and has the ability to wander into books just like her mum. She decides to try and find out with the help of Oskar what happened to her mum but what lies ahead could be dangerous and will she get back from the books .....
I loved this book!! 
I've been an avid reader since the age of 5 and some of my favourite childhood books are mentioned in this wonderful little book. It took me back to my first memories of choosing books from the library and visiting these characters, which are etched on my mind forever.
Tilly's adventures are amazing and the description of the British Library warmed my heart as I visited the library last summer. I loved the fact that lurking under the library was an Under Library where Bokkwanderers train. 
I cannot fault this book in anyway it's a lovely magical story which any child / adult, keen book reader will love. It will certainly be a book that I will revisit again.
10th December '18
I read it myself (an adult) & to PBB Library aged 7 to 11
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
This is a wonderful book! The kids were totally engrossed throughout the story... It follows Tilly Pages who lives with her grandparents at their bookshop, Pages & Co. as she embarks on a literacy project during October half term. (She has neither of her parents after her father died before she was born, and her mother mysteriously went missing soon after she was born). Tilly begins to notice some strange sightings after she finds a box of her mothers favourite childhood books... She meets a girl called Anne Shirley, and Alice from Wonderland. But a strange character keeps cropping up that her Grandfather seems concerned by. What does he want with Pages & Co.?
This fantastic story was great for introducing the pupils to a variety of classic books that most of them hadn't read before. The references to strong female characters was also a great topic of discussion for the class. We recommend it very highly!
10th January '19
I read it to AnnaMP aged 7 aged 7
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
This is a magical adventure and a book lover's dream.  Anne Shirley, Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, Elizabeth Bennet, pop cakes from The Magic Faraway Tree and the ability to bookwander - what more could a reader possibly ask for? Anna James has a deft and imaginative writing style, which makes the story enjoyable for both children and adults.  Both mother and daughter are now very much looking forward to the next in the series.
14th October '18
Lswise read it themselves aged 13 aged 13
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
i thought that it was going to be cliche but it really surprised me by the originality of the story. i empathise with the protagonist because i love to read books as well and it was a really good book. I think this would make a really good movie as when i was reading it, i was thinking that the descriptions were very vivid and i could imagine this book as a movie.
22nd October '18
Holls read it themselves aged 10 aged 10
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
Tilly and The Book Wanderers is exquisite and very exciting. It made me escape the real world and the description made the settings picturesque. My favourite character is Anne of Green Gables. 
I have started to watch the series and the author describes her perfectly. I liked how much great vocabulary is in the book. I truly enjoyed reading this fab book.
6th November '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
I absolutely adored this book! 
The story was intriguing and I read it so quickly just wanting to know what would happen at the end. The characters are endearing and I really liked Tilly.
I will definitely be passing this book onto the ks2 classes at my school as I think it’s perfect for that key stage.
27th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
I was so looking forward to reading this book and I was not disappointed. Tilly has inherited the ability to wander through the pages of her favourite books - who wouldn’t want to do that? Through her ability and persistence, Tilly is able to uncover secrets of book wandering and also discover the truth about her own life. This is a fantastic adventure for all book lovers. 
28th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
This year I have been extremely fortunate enough to be able to read such a wonderful book. It is one that I will treasure, pass onto my little girl and make sure she passes it onto her children. It is just out of this world...
This book is about Matilda (Tilly) Pages, who doesn’t really know anything about her father, her mother disappeared when she was very young & she has very few friends. She lives with her grandparents in North London, in a narrow house connected to the family bookstore called Pages & Co. It is in this bookstore where Tilly has her first ‘wandering’ experience and where she initially encounters classic children’s characters. All of a sudden everything is turned upside down when Tilly realises that not only can characters from her favourite books jump out of their stories and land right in her bookshop but that she too can wander into any story that she chooses.
So along with her best friend Oskar and with the help of Anne of Green Gables & Alice in Wonderland, Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago.
Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers is one of my Top 5 books of the year. Reading it felt like a warm hug. An excellent story masterfully showcasing the love for books, bookshops and libraries. Anna James has successfully created a masterpiece, a modern children’s classic full of nostalgia. This is a flawless book with a wonderful setting and adorable characters. Reading it will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart and a permanent grin on your face. I cannot wait to read the sequel! Can’t recommend this book highly enough, everyone from the age of 1 to 100 should be read/should read this book. A 5⭐️ read.
27th April '19
I read it to Darth aged 10 aged 10 & to Leia aged 7 aged 7
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
A lovely book to share with the children. It's probably one of the bigger books I've read to them, but we read it quickly because we couldn't put it down. Tilly lives with her grandparents at their bookshop, Pages and Co. Her best friend Oskar lives opposite. Tilly begins to see book characters, Sherlock Holmes, Alice from Alice in Wonderland in the bookshop. One day she is transported to Avonlea with Anne from green gables. Tilly is a book wanderer, a concept the children loved. There are lots of rules to this. This bit is complicated so i was sure to explain things if needed. Many of the texts mentioned in the book that the characters visited, my two haven't read, but rather than putting them off, only made them more interested in reading the other books. Especially Treasure Island. A fab book. 
6th October '18
LittleRed1 read it themselves aged 8 aged 8
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
This book is magical. A bit too magical. I’m sure weird stuff has been happening since I’ve been reading it. I’ve tried bookwandering in the school library, but it’s not working yet.
6th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
I had high hopes for this book and I wasn’t disappointed. I love Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart and this has a similar premise but set in a bookshop. The characters are believable and well-painted. 
I wasn’t sure how some of the literature references would work with a younger reader, but my 8 year old enjoyed it without being familiar with a lot of the books discussed. There are helpful summaries of the main texts referred to at the back of the book, but these aren’t essential. The idea that these are characters that Tilly recognises from books is enough for the premise to work.
It surprised me, but my just-turned 4 year old has enjoyed listening to some of the book too - he’s had a lot of questions, but he’s intrigued by the idea of travelling in and out of books.
Overall, it’s a deliciously special book that we’ve all enjoyed and we’ll be looking out for the next one in the series.
27th September '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
I loved this book so much! I somewhat wish I'd written it as I feel a bit as if Anna James has got into my head as Tilly is so like me as a child!

The idea of being a "book wanderer" is just so clever and *right.* As a child, my friends used to become irritated at the way I could shut them out of my head and transport myself into books. I read that it's a type of hypnosis and that not everyone can actually do it.

Anyway, if you are or were the type of child who always had their nose in a book, you'll love this one.

I should add I was mildly worried I was being enchanted by my childhood favourite books and then my 10 year old picked it up and has also been gripped by it.
12th March '19
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
I loved this book! Very mysterious yet calming! It shows the greatness of books and the special ability of being able to travel through the pages of these magical stories. Matilda Pages finds a special box that leads her to go travelling through some special books.
3rd October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
5 stars
This book has been on my must read list since it's existence was first publicized.  I was thrilled to win my copy and I can't wait to share it! I loved reading it and getting lost amidst the pages with Tilly, Oskar and the family.  I could only dream of living in a bookstore.

 Everything about this book is just wonderful-the idea of book wandering, the characters, the Pages and Co bookstore, the book jacket and inside cover.  Anna James has created a brilliant world and I just want to book wander through my favourite books with Tilly and her family.  Imagine a world where you can meet book characters and wander through the scenes of their world.  But be wary of changing the books forever- such a thoughtful plot twist.

I was so impressed with the concept and I loved that Tilly was one to have a proper adventure and to bend the rules to follow her heart.  She is a spunky 11 year old who seems lonely and struggles with friends at school.  Books are her world and her home.  Then she befriends Oskar and they form a strong bond through the new book wandering experiences.  Some books are more dangerous than others!  There are plenty of twists and turns and heart warming family moments.

The illustrations placed throughout the book make it feel more special and really bring the book alive.

I give this book 10 stars over and above the 5 as it is perfect!  I was sad to say The End.

Please, Anna James, create another Tilly story!
12th April '19
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
4 stars
Tilly has lead a sheltered life, having grown up in her grandparent's book shop and preferring to lose herself in a book rather than making friends at school. And whilst she loves spending time in the sprawling book shop with her grandparents, she cannot help but wonder why her mother disappeared all those years ago. But a secret is being kept from her, and as Tilly begins to follow a trail into the unknown, she finds friendship with the boy-next-door who becomes just the co-conspirator that she needs!

Great debut novel that is perfect for children in years 4 & 5
6th May '19
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
4 stars
A wonderful book with references to Anne of Green Gables, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island and A Little Princess. Tilly is a bookworm who lives with her grandparents in their bookshop when she discovers that they have been keeping a big secret from her, which could have something to do with her missing parents. Tilly sets off on several adventures to find the truth and is a very plucky main character with a loyal friend who helps her along the way. The main bad guy in this book is very creepy and will have you on the edge of your seat!
1st May '19
SamandMaisylovetoread2 read it myself (an adult) & themselves aged 10 aged 10
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
3 stars
This was a really good adventure story that was exciting because I wanted to know all about the mystery of what had happened to Tilly's mum. I enjoyed all the characters from different books coming to life. My mum said that some of them were people from favorite books of hers when she was my age! Mum and me are going to read The Little Princess next.
3rd September '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
3 stars
An intriguing set up. Tilly discovers that she has inherited the ability to wander in and out of books, interacting with her favourite characters and taking part in exciting adventures. Written as much to appeal to nostalgic adults as to its target audience there are a lot of literary references based on classics such as Alice in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables and A Little Princess.

This is a quaint story which emphasises the importance of libraries and bookshops but for me it reinforced the stereotype that book lovers only love ‘the classics’. This was an OK read for me, a book-loving adult, but my 10 year old wasn’t interested in moving past the first few pages. Feels like the kind of book that well-meaning adults would like their kids to read but may only appeal to those who already love the ‘classics’.
2nd October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers 9780008229863
3 stars
This story is set in a bookshop and involves the main character Tilly's adventures journeying into some classic children's stories. There is also a mystery surrounding the disappearance of Tilly's mum many years ago. The book itself is absolutely beautiful. The cover design, particularly the one under the dust jacket, really captures the image of falling into the pages of a book. Within the book, font and colour are used cleverly to emphasise certain words or moments in the story.

I enjoyed Tilly's journey's into the various different worlds. It is clear that these stories are favourites of the author as she perfectly captures the speech and mannerisms of these classic characters. As someone who loved many of these stories as a child, this was a wonderful nostalgia trip for me. The moment the book mentioned that Tilly was in Wonderland or Avonlea, I could instantly picture where she was due to years of reading those books when I was little. However, for someone who didn't have all this prior knowledge and affection for the stories, I imagine the jumping in and out of books could get quite confusing. I wonder if visiting generic stories with dragons, princesses, witches, talking animals, etc. might make the story more accessible than visiting specific stories. Though I did enjoy guessing which stories characters were from based on their name, nickname or something they'd said and this wouldn't have been possible without named stories.

The use of description in this book is excellent. The author has a poetic control over similes and personification and scenes are beautifully described. An area of writing that I felt let this story down, was the dialogue between the 'real' characters in the book. At times, conversations felt quite stilted as if they were there to further the plot, rather than something the characters might actually say to each other. Also, I didn't feel there was always enough difference between the way that Tilly's grandparents spoke compared to the way that her and her friend spoke.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. The action built throughout the book to an exciting conclusion. It also left the reader with more questions which will hopefully be answered in a sequel.
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Featured Book
Book pages The Good Thieves
The Good Thieves

Bestselling and award-winning author, Katherine Rundell, returns with a brilliant new story packed with adventure and excitement, recommended for ages 9+

View book
Featured Book
Book pages Cinders and Sparks: Magic at Midnight
Cinders and Sparks: Magic at Midnight

Perfect for readers of 7+, Cinders & Sparks is a fresh, funny and fabulous take on Cinderella, for everyone who loved Frozen and Shrek.

View book

About Anna James

Anna James is a writer and journalist living in London. Anna was Book News Editor at The Bookseller magazine and was Literary Editor of Elle UK. Anna has also written for The Pool, The LA Times, The Financial Times and The Independent, as well as making bookish YouTube videos as A Case For Books. She hosts literary events and panels and is the co-founder and...

More about Anna James

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