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Stuff for the Teen Age

Curiouser and Curiouser: The World of Wonderland in YA Fiction

I recently finished reading Heartless by Marissa Meyer, and when I finished the book I didn’t want the story to be over. This novel about how a girl grew up to become the diabolical Red Queen made me want to take a deep dive back into the world of Wonderland.  

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Image ID: 1111800

Heartless made me want to reread Lewis Carroll’s original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass books, and dust off my copy of The Annotated Alice. It made me want to rewatch all of the film versions of these classic stories. It made me want to play the American McGee’s Alice video game again. It also made me think about how the world of Wonderland has been reimagined in young adult fiction.  

If you’d like to explore Wonderland with me, here are some highlights from our YA collection to get you started:


The Looking Glass Wars

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Princess Alyss Heart knows that she will grow up to become the Queen of Wonderland. But she learns the hard way that her evil aunt Redd has other plans for her. Alyss escapes through the Pool of Tears and finds herself in Victorian London, where she starts a new life as an ordinary girl. And then she meets an author who believes her amazing story and wants to share it with the world.




Splintered by A.G. Howard

Alyssa might be crazy, but she’s doing her best to hide it. She doesn’t want to wind up in an institution like her mother, but based on her family’s history, it looks like madness is in her future. And then Alyssa learns that her ancestor Alice Liddell really did go to a place called Wonderland, and if Wonderland is real that means that the women in her family weren’t crazy after all. In order to save her mother and herself, Alyssa must go to Wonderland, which is a much more dark and dangerous place than she imagined.



Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Lady Catherine has plenty of dreams, both ordinary and amazing. She dreams about a future in which she opens a bakery with her best friend. She dreams about incredible tastes and flavors, and sometimes those dreams turn into reality, like when she wakes to find a lemon tree growing in her bedroom. She also dreams about a beautiful and mysterious boy with yellow eyes. But Catherine has attracted the attention of the King of Hearts, and his dreams for the future are much different than hers. 


Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

Dinah is princess of Wonderland, and she’s also a girl who wants to please her father, the King of Hearts. She expects to become Queen of Hearts when she turns eighteen, but she discovers that her position is in jeopardy because there is another possible heir to the throne. Little by little, Dinah starts to uncover secrets about her family and about Wonderland that have the power to change her future. 



Alice in Zombieland

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

This book, the beginning of the White Rabbit Chronicles, tells the story of a girl named Alice whose life falls apart on her sixteenth birthday. That’s the night she realizes that she should have listened to her father, and she should never have gone out at night. Because it’s at night when the zombies rise from their graves.




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