There’s a reason that the Alice in Wonderland riffs and retellings multiply exponentially, like so many plastic bags in that pantry drawer.
But J. Scott Savage’s LOST IN WONDERLAND DIARIES – hopefully the first in a series if the cliffhanger is correct – is the book you wish you could write.
Two middle-school misfits, dyslexic Celia (anagram for… 🐇⏱) and nerdy/bookish Tyrus, find the diaries of Celia’s great-great uncle Charles Dodgson and accidentally go to Wonderland.
What they find is “the real story” of other dimensions, time loops, quantum physics, and the untold stories of the Wonderland characters. Underneath, this is a great story of accepting yourself (allowing you to accept and appreciate others) and stepping into your own truth and power.
Savage very clearly knows all the Louis Carroll lore and knows Wonderland (real not Disney) very well, and this book is jam-packed with Easter Eggs.
Celia’s struggles with dyslexia were spot-on and made me cry in parts. My TBI was to my left brain and thus presents more as making me stupid at math, but Savage’s description of the frustration of people focusing on/defining you by your weaknesses; the pain of ignorant social stigma* and people’s resentment of adaptive equipment really hit home.
As a mother and as someone who had brain damage inflicted, it was so empowering to read about someone with intellectual differences being put into a place where she could shine. Would that it was that easy in real life!
I’m pre-ordering the sequel.
* Dyslexia is not contagious and one of these days a certain employee at my kids’ school will grok that “stutters, is forgetful and sucks at math” does not make someone Jeffrey Dahmer…