Codes for Reviews

First Initial (Overall Rating):
E = Exceptional
VG = Very Good
G = Good
F = Fair
NR = Not Recommended

Second Initital (Reading Level):
A = Average Reading Level
E = Easy
M = Mature

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Middle School Fiction

F/A Meloy, Colin. Wildwood. Balzer & Bray, 2011. 560p. 978-0-06-202468-8. 16.99.

Colin Meloy, lead singer of the Portland based band, The Decemberists, uses the same magic and whimsy of his song lyrics in his first novel for middle readers. 7th grader Prue McKeel watches with amazement as her baby brother is kidnapped by a murder of crows. In order to get him back she must venture into the forbidden Impassable Woods. When she gets there, with classmate Curtis in tow, they discover a magical place that the inhabitants call Wildwood. The citizens of Wildwood, which include talking animals, birds and humans, are at war and Prue, her missing brother and Curtis find themselves in the middle of it. While the characters are fun, there are a few too many of them to follow. The vocabulary seems advanced for it’s intended audience, but the story is too child-like for older readers. Middle readers who like the Narnia series, magical realism or talking animals might enjoy this book as long as they don’t mind the length. If nothing else, the illustrations by Meloy’s wife, Carson Ellis, are beautiful. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

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