We’re in the wrong book! by Richard Byrne is a great example of a metafictional book. Metafiction meaning a book that is aware that it is a book and breaks from traditional narrative techniques. This form can be seen in movies and theater as well, similar to what is called “breaking the fourth wall.”
Bella and Ben begin the book playing on the street of their hometown. Suddenly, Bella’s dog bumps them into the wrong book. They must figure out a way to get back home, and end up in several other books before they do.
It’s delightful, funny, and clever. As the friends ask various characters how to get back to their own book, they keep turning the page to a new story…that isn’t their own. One thing that really struck a cord in my heart was seeing the friends working together to find their way back.
I’m sure not many readers focus on the dynamic of these protagonists, especially in light of such a silly and light read. Still, to me, it makes it far more enjoyable to see how sweet their relationship is and how willing they are to work together to get home. While I understand the point of the book is to be hilarious and not taken seriously, there are still plenty of ways they could have split up or argued (which can be written humorously), but they didn’t. (photo is a copyrighted illustration from We’re in the wrong book!)
Another enjoyable aspect of the story and illustrations is the variety of the books they fall into. There is one well-known fairy tale (of course), but the rest are somewhat surprising, and therefore a refreshing break from the expected.
All said, if your’e in need a fun book book for your classroom or home, try metafiction!