Nell of Gumbling: My Extremely Normal Fairy-Tale Life (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Welcome to the town of Gumbling! A fairy tale village home to Nell and her family. Nell has lived in Gumbling her entire life. To Nell, Grumbling is as normal as can be. Her schoolmates are unicorns and she lives on a star farm. However, some investors see Gumbling as a place to buy and turn into an amusement park. Will Nell be able to stand up for her town and what they believe in or will the investors take over? I enjoyed the challenges and situations Nell had to overcome throughout the book.  The book showcased the importance of second chances, friendship, forgiveness, and honesty.  I love how the author represents all types of people both magical and not. A perfect book for a young reader who wants to dip their toes in a magical fantasy world!


— From Snazzy September Staff Picks


Raina Telgemeir meets the Land of Stories in this charming graphic novel-diary hybrid about a twelve-year-old girl and her perfectly average magical life.

To everyone else, the Magical Land of Gumbling is something out of fairy tales. But to Nell Starkeeper, it’s just home. Sure, the town community center might be a castle, her dads run a star farm, and her best friend Myra is a fairy, but Nell is much more interested in finding out if she’ll get the seventh grade apprenticeship of her dreams with world-famous artist Wiz Bravo. 

She’s pretty sure her entire life has been RUINED when she’s instead matched with boring old Mrs. Birdneck in the town archives. And of course her perfect rival Leabelle gets to work with Wiz, and mean girl Viola won’t let Nell forget it. Meanwhile, suddenly Myra seems more into hanging out with Leabelle and saving the town from some weird strangers who keep talking about turning Gumbling into a fancy resort than being friends with Nell anymore. Can Nell find a way to save everything that makes her world magical, while figuring out where she belongs in it?

About the Author

Emma Steinkellner is an illustrator, writer, and cartoonist living in Los Angeles, California. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the illustrator of the Eisner-nominated comic Quince. She is the author and illustrator of The Okay Witch graphic novel series.

Praise For…

★ "For older kids and younger teens who enjoy stories about magical adventures, friendship, and the challenges of growing up." —School Library Journal, starred review

"A feel-good tale of friendship, community, and unexpected joy." —Kirkus Reviews

"Explosive emotion that leaps off the page....Gently humorous prose teems with goofy asides and astute musings, while thinly lined, softly colored art initiates the first installment of this freewheeling series." —Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593570661
ISBN-10: 0593570669
Publisher: Labyrinth Road
Publication Date: September 26th, 2023
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Nell of Gumbling