Wildwood is a middle grade fantasy-adventure story written by Colin Meloy, the lead singer of the Decemberists. Twelve-year old Prue’s baby brother has been snatched by crows and taken into the forest near Portland, where no one ever goes, known as the Impassable Wilderness. Prue and her friend Curtis venture into the forest to save Mac and encounter talking animals, magic, and a divided kingdom falling into war. The hardcover is beautiful, with a lovely cover and illustrations. While the book suffers a bit from heavy description (my mind wandered at times) and some familial relationships that rang false to me, the book gained speed at the end and piqued my interest enough to continue with the second in the trilogy, which reviews say is darker. Knowing that, I would recommend this for older middle-grade readers—maybe 11 and up.
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From the publisher’s description:
Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her brother is abducted by a murder of crows and taken to the Impassable Wilderness, a dense, tangled forest on the edge of Portland. No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it.
So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval—a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much greater, as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.