11-year-old Tilly Page (get it?!) doesn't know why or how her mother disappeared, but she's delighted to be given a box of her mom's old books, her mother's favorites, to get lost in.
When she opens her mom's copy of A Little Princess, she starts reading and steps into the story and suddenly, she's face-to-face with Sara Crew. Pretty soon, Anne of Green Gables is chatting with her on the bookstore couch, followed by a demanding Alice in Wonderland, who pulls Tilly into her (harrowing!) story.
Tilly confides her new abilities to a friend, Oskar, and soon they're roaming through all sorts of stories...but you just know all this story-cavorting can't take place unregulated. There's rules for these sorts of encounters (as in, they're not supposed to happen, period), and pretty soon Tilly's discovered her grandfather and grandmother were responsible, when they were much younger, for enforcing those rules.
And while they indulge the occasional storybook visitor, the biggest rule-breaker in the family was...(drum roll)... Tilly's mom.
The man who caught her, Enoch Chalk, is determined to catch Tilly at it, too.
When Tilly finds out what happened to her mother, she's in for a shock that blurs the line between fiction and fact, imaginary and real.
A delightful read!