Title: Any Which Wall
Author: Laurel Snyder
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Themes: Time Travel, Magic, Childhood
Age Range: 3rd-6th Grade
Summary: (from Goodreads)
Four kids, a mysterious wall, and a good helping of common magic!
If you had a magic wall that could take you to any place and any time, where would you go? Would you want to visit castles and desert islands? Would you want to meet famous wizards, terrible pirates, beautiful queens, and dastardly outlaws? If so, then you are just like Henry and Emma, and Roy and Susan—and you will probably like this story a lot. In fact, you might even wish something similar would happen to you!
In Any Which Wall, author Laurel Snyder proves that you don’t have to be an orphan, know a dragon, or even be a child to get a taste of magic. You just have to keep your mind open and willing to let it happen. And when you do find magic (like Henry, Emma, Roy, and Susan), you might be surprised that along with all the fun, you also find out new things about your friends, your family, and maybe even a little bit about who you really want to be.
This is a charming story about four average kids who have an extraordinary adventure. The narrator has a Lemony Snicket sort of vibe, talking to the reader and showing insight into the mind of a child. And the whole book reminded me of the Narnia books, which was clearly an influence on Snyder. What I liked most about it was the fact that the magic that the kids find is not what they or the reader might think. Nothing turned out exactly as they expected from the wishes they made at the wall, but they learned more in the end about themselves and the world as a result. I think this is a great addition to any classroom library.