by Colin Meloy
Illustrations by Carson Ellis
Balzer+Bray. 2011. Middle-Grade Chapter Book.
Prue McKeel is a seventh grader who lives in Portland, Oregon. One day, her baby brother is kidnapped by a murder of crows, who carry him into the strange wilderness across the river. Prue sets out with a schoolmate named Curtis, and the pair cross over into a magical wood teetering on the edge of a military coup.
This is a story of talking owls, a band of lumberjack revolutionaries, and an army of coyotes. But for all its fantastical flourishes, this is a story of two preteens who struggle to reckon with their changing lives. Like the writings of CS Lewis and Lloyd Alexander, this fantasy world is defined by its characters and less by their actions -- though their escapades are thrilling. Wildwood ends with a great battle that connects every one of this hefty book's disparate threads, and it leaves its heroes and villains in a satisfying, yet uncertain situation that begs for a sequel (of which there are two!)