Friday, March 4, 2016

Forest of Wonders

Forest of Wonders 
(Wing & Claw #1)
By Linda Sue Park
 Illustrations by James Madsen
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2016. Fiction. 330 p.

In this new series by Linda Sue Park (Newbery Medalist for A Single Shard) Raffa has a knack for making poultices and infusions taught to him by his apothecary parents. When Raffa makes a cure for an injured bat with a rare vine found in the Forest of Wonders, he not only cures the bat but also gives the bat special abilities—the bat is able to talk to Raffa. When necessity takes Raffa to the big city to find his cousin, Raffa realizes that what he has done has far-reaching consequences.

This is a good book for those young readers who like animal/adventure books. Raffa’s friendship with Echo the bat is quite sweet. However, the fact that there is something darker and grander than Raffa understands (just what exactly is happening in the city?) throws in more suspense and adventure and questions about who to trust and whatever to do. There are a lot of hints to how each choice has consequences and being kind to animals and others. So those that are turned off by any mention of these moral decisions might not enjoy everything; however, those that understand the naivety of Raffa will be able to see past these indications and chalk them up to foreshadowing.

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