51OVa8pWloL._SL160_The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis is a slight twist on the normal GU approach, and might almost be categorized under “If the Story Were About Her,” because it actually alternates between telling the girl’s story, and that of her primary companion.

Marrill, 12, has spent her life travelling with her parents around the world, but her mother’s relapse into illness is about to force them to stay put in Arizona. Upset, Marrill takes a walk with her cat and stumbles upon a pirate ship in a parking lot, and a wizard who might be able to heal her mother. She follows him aboard to ask his help, but ends up trapped (with her cat) on the ship as it returns to the otherworld it came from, a strange body of water called the Pirate Stream that connects all the many worlds together. The wizard is searching for a magical map, which turns out to also be the one thing that could get Marrill home again. Meanwhile, we meet Fin, an orphan thief, who also needs the map to find his long lost mother. Eventually, they all come together, and pursue the various pieces of the map across the many worlds, while pursued by an evil wizard looking to use the map to bring on the apocalypse.

At one point, they land in a jungle where the plants whisper secrets and rumors and ensnare Marrill, and she loses herself briefly. They are, in a way, betrayed by one of their companions. Eventually, the adversary appears to have won, having gathered the map and begun the process of the apocalypse, but Marrill, in a somewhat roundabout way, defeats him through the power of her love for Fin. She gets home (her first goal), but is unable to bring her wizard friend with her and therefore cannot save her sick mother (the second goal), although it is left hanging as to how they fare after that (there will be more books in this series).

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