Hi Everyone! My name is Bronwen, and I am very excited to join the CSL Children’s Department as the new children’s coordinator. I look forward to meeting you this summer, and I hope that you are signed up for our fantastically fun TD Summer Reading Club. If you’re not but you’d like to participate, just call us or swing by the Children’s Desk. I can’t write about all of our exciting programs here (although it’s tempting), but we’ll keep you posted on what’s happening at the library as the summer progresses.
In keeping with our Summer Reading Club theme, I just finished a fantasy called Wildwood (written by Colin Meloy and illustrated by Carson Ellis of Mysterious Benedict Society fame). Prue is taking her infant brother for a walk one afternoon when he is abducted by a murder of crows and flown to a place where no full-blooded human has traveled. Wracked with guilt at having lost Mac, Prue sneaks away from her parents’ house to find him in the Impenetrable Wilderness. The Wilderness is dangerous and overwhelming. Luckily, Prue is followed by her steadfast neighbor, Curtis, who vows to help her save Mac. The two are quickly separated, forcing each to navigate a forest full of coyotes, bandits, birds, and a Dowager Governess who has sinister plans for Prue’s baby brother.
With talking animals, an evil queen, and some exciting battles, Wildwood tells a timeless story of two brave children, blending elements of fantasy and fairy tale. Despite the book’s descriptive and visual appeal, I never found myself immersed in the Impenetrable Wilderness. The story moved along at a nice pace, but the characters were not fully explored, nor the beauty (or ugliness) of the forest world fully realized. Basically, I wanted more magic and more danger! A few passages were particularly imaginative and quite beautiful. Billed as a modern-day Narnia, Wildwood had great potential. With some high-level vocabulary, I would recommend this for strong readers 9 and up. It could also be a fun read-aloud (or as Valerie suggested, it would probably make a great audio book). I would certainly read the next in the series.
Now you’ll have to try it yourself. Let me know what you think, either in the comments or in person!
You’ll be hearing from me soon,