The Map to Everywhere is the fantastic first book in a new middle grade fantasy series by husband and wife team, Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis. Fin lives in the magical Khaznot Quay where he suffers from being forgettable. It’s not just that he doesn’t stand out; people truly forget him seconds after talking with him. Merrill is a 12 year-old girl stuck in Arizona and wishing for an adventure. One day, a ship appears out of nowhere in a parking lot and she is whisked off to a magical land. When Fin and Merrill’s paths collide, Fin discovers that Merrill doesn’t forget him like everyone else. They realize they have a common goal: to collect all the pieces of the Map to Everywhere that are scattered across different lands. It is the only way Merrill can get home and Fin’s only hope of being reunited with his mother. However, an evil and crazy wizard called the Oracle is after the map, too, so a race across the worlds begins!
Told in alternating chapters focusing on Fin and Merrill, this is a light-hearted and fast-paced story with non-stop action. It is perfect for Rick Riordan fans who enjoy fantasy worlds. Young readers will love this adventure through magical lands with the colorful cast of characters including wizards, pirates, people with various animal characteristics, and talking trees. The book reads like you’re watching a movie because the descriptions make the world very easy to picture. This is also helped by illustrations at the start of each chapter and sporadic full page illustrations throughout.
While kids will become engrossed in this book because of the adventure, they’ll also appreciate the relatable and lovable characters. Fin is reminiscent of other charming thieves, Flynn Rider (Tangled) and Aladdin. However, despite how confident he may act, readers know he’s actually lonely and will be happy that he is able to find a true friend in Merrill who is smart and kind. Kids will be thrilled that this is the first in a new series so they can have more wonderful adventures with this fine crew.
You can place a hold on the book in the Deerfield Public Library catalog right now. If you have to wait, be sure to check out “You Might Also Like These…” at the bottom of the catalog page.
This review was previously published by the Deerfield Review.