The Moral of the Story: What is this I can’t even… The Big Deal: Class trip to the Enchanted Forest Synopsis: The sixth grade is going to a super cool theme park called the Enchanted Forest. Caroline Pearce
The Moral of the Story: What is this I can’t even…
The Big Deal: Class trip to the Enchanted Forest
The sixth grade is going to a super cool theme park called the Enchanted Forest. Caroline Pearce wants to sit with Liz on the bus, but Liz hates the idea of listening to her gossip the whole way. Liz asks Jessica to sit with her and Jessica promises she will, but then she goes ahead and sits with Lila instead and Liz has to sit with Caroline after all. Liz spends the whole morning thinking about Jessica’s terrible betrayal.
As soon as they get to the park, Lila ditches Jessica when she runs into a cute guy she knows from camp or something. Feeling hurt, Jessica goes off to find Liz. Liz ignores her and gets on her favorite ride, King Abelard’s Castle, but then she spends the whole ride feeling guilty. She vows to make up with Jessica before she does anything else, but she can’t find her anywhere. After a while, she becomes convinced that Jessica must have disappeared on the castle ride, so she goes back there to find her.
When she gets to the castle, there are no ride attendants and there’s nobody in the queue. No problem, Liz will just use this handy rowboat to get across the moat to a secret door she never noticed before. She goes down a hallway and then falls down a hole, where she runs into a little girl who introduces herself as Princess Charity. Princess Charity is hiding from some bad guys who want to lock her up and make her a slave. The rest of her family has already been locked in a cage, so it’s up to Liz and Charity to rescue them.
Liz uses her camera’s flash to blind the bad guys, and Charity opens the cage while they’re distracted. The good guys escape and pick up their weapons, which have been thrown into a pile conveniently near the cage, and have a battle. Once order and goodness have been restored, someone asks Liz how she got away from the evil King Nestor. Liz deduces that Jessica must have been taken by him, and King Abelard tells her there’s a boy with a raft who can take her to Nestor’s kingdom.
The boy with the raft introduces himself as Tom Sawyer, and he tells her stories about Huck Finn and Injun Joe while he ferries Liz down the river. When they get to Nestor’s kingdom, they follow some footprints into a cave, where Liz immediately causes a cave-in. She and Tom are trapped, but then a kindly mouse gnaws on some grass and the rocks come tumbling loose. Now there’s a barrier between Liz and Tom. Tom goes back the way he came, and Liz continues on to the other end of the tunnel.
It’s night when she emerges, and she sees someone dragging Jessica up a moonbeam and into a cloud. The mouse from the cave comes along, introduces herself as Allegra, and encourages Liz to follow Jessica up the moonbeam path. Why not? They go through a gate and into a gray world where people are chained to the ground and forced to break rocks all day for the gray queen. While Liz tries to figure out how to break the magic chains holding Jessica prisoner, a manacle appears around her own ankle. Things are looking pretty grim, but then Johnny Buck shows up in a flying black limousine. He starts singing and all the chains disappear. The gray queen picks up Jessica and carries her through a door on the side of a boulder that immediately takes off flying into the air.
Liz and Johnny fly after them in Johnny’s flying limo, and Johnny starts singing again when they get close. Jessica tries to make a jump for the car, but then a witch comes out of nowhere and throws Jessica onto the back of her broomstick. Liz falls off the limo’s wing and into the Enchanted Sea, where she meets a sea serpent named Sidney. After a game of checkers played with seashells and pebbles, Sidney tells Liz that the witch who snatched Jessica is named Grisolda and she’s taken over Fairy Tale Land.
Liz catches a ride to Fairy Tale Land on the back of a friendly turtle. Since Grisolda’s occupation, it’s become known as Sorrowland. Rapunzel is bald, Peter Pan is a middle-aged accountant, and other fairy tale characters are equally miserable. Liz finds Grisolda’s gingerbread house and rescues Jessica from the stove, and then they laugh at the witch until she dies. Fairy Tale Land and all its inhabitants are all put back to normal, and they put the twins on a magical boat and send them home.
And then Liz wakes up. During the King Abelard ride, she and Amy knocked their heads together and Liz blacked out. She gets up and spends the rest of the day having a super awesome time with Jessica, who has apologized for sitting with Lila on the bus.
The absolute worst thing about this book is that I read it over and over again when I was a kid. What was wrong with me?
The Cover: Who’s that boy? And based on hairstyles, it would appear that Liz is the one wearing all that purple.