Meloy, C., & Ellis, C. (2011). Wildwood. New York, NY: Balzer Bray.
When crow’s steal Prue’s younger brother, Mac, she realizes her only hope of getting him back is to venture into the Wildwood that boarders Portland and bring him back herself. Her classmate Curtis sees her heading into Wildwood and convinces Prue to let him come along. The two are quickly separated and readers get to experience Wildwood from both their perspectives as they meet the residents of the mysterious woods and try to find Mac before it’s too late. This book is great for readers who enjoy urban fantasy with it’s setting being a combination of modern day Portland and the fable like forest. This also makes it a great book for fans of fables and talking animals. It is also a good read alike book for fans of the Chronicles of Narnia series. Barnes and Noble lists the reading age as 9-12 which fits with the language used in the book. There are some battle scenes in the book that some younger readers may not care for but overall it is appropriate for tweens. The book is also longer than some tween novels making it a good choice for readers that appreciate longer stories or are looking to reach a specific page number goal. Lastly it is worth noting that the book has remarkable artwork featuring both full page illustrations and smaller in text illustrations. The illustrations are done by Carson Ellis who is also the illustrator of the popular Tween book The Mysterious Benedict Society. This book is the first in the Wildwood trilogy followed by Under Wildwood published in 2012 and Wildwood Imperium published in 2014.
I also thought that for a library with a tween book club this would be a fun book to discuss as it will appeal to both genders due to the way the story switches between Prue and Curtis’s perspective. In addition to discussing the book tweens could also make their own map like one of Portland and Wildwood in the book, imagining what their own city would look like if it had a magical place along it’s borders.