by Sam Gayton
Recommended Ages: 10+
Then one day, a message Lily sneaked out of Gulliver's garret on the tail of a friendly mouse brings an answer. She finds a friend in the apprentice of the evil clockmaker who is also Gulliver's landlord. Forced to wear a wristwatch that tightens painfully after every wasted minute, Finn is not just Mr. Plinker's apprentice; he's a slave. But the two orphans help each other escape Mr. Plinker's vile clutches, experiencing wonderful and scary adventures together. Finally, they join a couple more colorful characters to plan Lily's escape back to Lilliput. But Mr. Plinker has also been making plans, plans that put Lily and all her friends in terrible danger.
An afterword to this book notes its place among a large body of "Gulliveriana" - basically, the oldest body of fan-fiction in English literature, dating back to 1726, the very year Jonathan Swift first published Gulliver's Travels. Considering that, plus the abiding impact of Swift's book on the shared imagination of western (or at least English-speaking) culture, and the fact that his title character was the first literary hero to wear spectacles, Gulliver blazed a trail for Harry Potter in many ways. But perhaps it is this book's origin as a tale a young man told his brother during a ramble along seaside cliffs that best explain its compelling drama, its fast-paced and exciting action, its winning combination of friendly and villainous characters, and its magical depiction of the tiniest of heroines prevailing against a gigantic and dangerous world. It's an unexpected sequel to Gulliver, but a wonderful little adventure in it own right.