Long Live the Queen by Gerry Swallow

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Long Live the Queen is a middle grade novel written by Gerry Swallow. It is the sequel to Blue in the Face, and it features the (mis)adventures of a young girl named Elspeth who needs to return to the fairy tale land of New Winkieland to help her old friends. The queen has been kidnapped, and Elspeth discovers the rescue operation might involve working with an old enemy.

I always read the middle grade books I receive with my three elementary school girls. Not only is it bonding time for us, but it also provides me with valuable feedback about the book. My girls absolutely loved Long Live the Queen; we have not read Blue in the Face, but that did not affect our ability to understand the plot of Long Live the Queen. My girls thought the book was very funny, and there were numerous times that I had to ask them to settle down so that I could keep reading. They loved the cheeky humor, and they also loved the nursery rhyme and fairy tale references. They were very excited when they recognized a character, although they were rather partial to Gene the talking stick.

I have to say that the girls loved the book more than I did. I appreciate that Swallow included references beyond the target audience of post-millenials; the Silence of the Lambs homage was quite clever. But sometimes things were a little too twee, and it got in the way of the plot.

Ultimately, my opinion as a book reviewer doesn’t matter as much as what my children think. They loved Long Live the Queen, and so I would recommend the book to middle grade readers who like humorous books like Dork Diaries or Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

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2 thoughts on “Long Live the Queen by Gerry Swallow

  1. “I always read the middle grade books I receive with my three elementary school girls.”

    How wonderful! My family is similar. I have three girls (twins who are 9 and a 5-year-old), and we often read together. My daughters’ opinions on a book are far more important than mine, but sometimes I’m able to sway them!

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