Jennifer Donnelly’s book, Beauty and the Beast Lost in a Book, is not only a story that brings new light and depth to a classic fairytale, but it is also a modern lesson on the escapism such tales provide. Based on the Disney version of “Beauty and the Beast” the author begins her tale following the moment Belle is given the castle’s library. Being that the girl is an enthusiastic reader and, as is often stated, struggles to make a meaningful connection with Beast the gift becomes a sanctuary from her confined life. Soon Belle discovers a book that opens a world of endless opportunities all based on the her personal desires. Upon realizing that this book enables her to lead a life akin to her favorite characters she is faced with the decision of living in a fantasy world or making the best of reality.
Donnelly plays on aspects of Greek mythology to explain Belle’s personal plight thus supporting her concept of absorbing oneself in fantasies. While the author tells of the dangers of living in a fantasy world she emphasizes that though reality may not be what we wish it to be we can make it a far better place by putting forth our own time and effort.
Due to the consistent action, drama, and easy to read style this book flies by. Although Barnes and Noble recommends it for ages 10-14 I say it is a great addition for anyone who loves Beauty and the Beast.