Monday, November 7, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Wildwood

Ohhhhh. If it's adventure you seek, Wildwood will take you on one. Written by Colin Meloy and illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis, this is the first in the The Wildwood Chronicles and it just released a few months ago. I was privileged to win my copy from Deb Marshall and read it aloud with my kids. This novel holds delectable action and characters, and the plot twists and turns keep readers always on their toes. But Mr. Meloy also employs a poetic quality in his writing, beautiful descriptions which lend an "I'm there" feeling.

The premise: Prue McKeel is at the park with her little brother Mac. She's ridden her bike with Mac tucked safely in a red Radio Flyer wagon. The sky darkens. Crows swoop in. And they steal little Mac away in their beaks. But not just away--they fly him into the Impassable Wilderness, that place on the edge of Portland, Oregon, where people never go. Except now Prue must go there. And Curtis ends up joining her.

What keeps readers reading: I'll quote my daughter here. She said, "Wildwood is a thrilling and fantastic fantasy that leaves you asking, what will happen next?" No kidding. Those are her words (she's twelve; the audience this book seeks). I even had her write down what she said so I would say it exactly as she told me. I will interject, however, and say this book is not for the faint of heart or a reluctant reader. It is 541 pages long and is definitely geared for upper middle grade readers. But as I stated in this review's opening, adventure abounds in Wildwood. The villainess Colin Meloy creates captures and intrigues, and Prue and Curtis (as well as a host of other characters) grab and hold interest. Journey with Prue and Curtis as they search for little Mac.

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Happy middle grade reading!   

14 comments:

  1. Sounds really great! I saw it and hesitated because it's so long. I will have to give it try. Thanks for another awesome review!

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  2. I won a copy from Shannon O'Donnell and just finished it. I agree with your review. It was good but definitely an upper middle grade book from the length. Love your daughter's review too BTW.

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  3. Making a book that long a page turner is definitely a way to go. Kuddos to the author and thanks for the feature.

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  4. I am so glad you and the family loved this one as much as I did. Yay for Prue and crew!

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  5. The length really does make it seem daunting, but I was surprised how quickly it flew by. Great review!! I loved this one! :-)

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  6. I'm intrigued to see where this series heads next! We read this aloud, as I said, which of course takes more time, but I'm so glad we did. I think I may have missed the richness of detail if I'd read it on my own--I have a tendency to speed through because I want the STORY.

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  7. I'd love to read this one. Thanks for the review!

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  8. Great review, Barbara! Haven't read this one yet, although one of my fellow booksellers has and she loved it also.

    Thanks for the heads-up that it's not for the faint of heart. I already figured it had to be for upper MG just because of the length.

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  9. Squeee! This has been on my list since I heard about it but i'm like four thousandth on the library waiting list. Okay, I'm only 27th but it feels like four thousandth. I may actually buy a copy b/c I love the Decemberists and love upper middle grade spec fic. And I'm not afraid of 500 pages. Not anymore.

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  10. Great review! I hadn't heard of this yet, but I will have to check it out. Since it is longer, I might try to read it out loud with my son too. Good idea!

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  11. Oh, I forgot about this book. I'm obsessed with Pinterest right now. I'm pinning this book and your post. cheers. Can't wait to read this.

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  12. I love stopping by and seeing your recs! Cheers! :)

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  13. I read the opening pages excerpted in Portland's indie paper and was captivated (and made very envious) by the language Meloy uses. Thanks for the excellent review.

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  14. This book is on my list of books to read. Glad to hear it's a page turner.

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