This perfectly paced story has enough realistic elements to appeal even to nonfantasy readers ... Isabelle is an appealing protagonist whose newfound gift for hearing calls for help reflects how she has grown up enough to see beyond herself. Her story has that ‘barely visible edge of otherworldliness’ that gives it power.
—Booklist (starred review)
B z z z z z z z. The buzzing sound? Do you hear that? Isabelle Bean does.
And as the protagonist of Frances O’Roark Dowell’s Falling In soon learns, it’s not actually that great to have a buzzing in your ear.
It’s distracting for one thing. And when Isabelle starts listening to the buzz instead of, say, her boring teacher, strange things happen. She gets sent to the principal’s office (that’s not so strange), but then while awaiting her punishment, she tumbles into an adventure — into another world that’s a little bit different, a little bit Hansel & Gretel-y, a little bit like a fairy tale, which would be great, but… did I mention that Isabelle is an unusual dresser? When she shows up in fairy-tale land wearing her favorite high, pointy boots, the fairy-tale people start thinking that Isabelle is a witch — and not just any witch, but the witch!
From Edgar Award-winning author Frances O’Roark Dowell comes the unlikely story of Isabelle Bean — an ultimate misfit, an outsider extraordinaire, and not a witch!
Isabelle’s adventures come to a satisfying conclusion as she 'falls out' of her school closet a little wiser and maybe a bit more likely to make a friend, and she reminds readers to just believe that ‘the doors are out there. Don’t be afraid to turn the knob.’
—School Library Journal
The fledgling fantasist produces surprises, despair, reunions and hope, all with a deft, playful touch and the ability to deliver breathtakingly penetrating insights perfectly pitched for her audience. Dowell spreads her wings and soars.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)