While spending time in the park with her baby brother Mac, Prue is surprised and horrified when a murder of crows comes out of the Impassable Wilderness and steals him away. With help from her classmate Curtis, Prue ventures into the Wood to retrieve her brother and quickly discovers that he is not the only one that needs her help from an evil witch.
The reason why I bought this book was because the description made me think of Labyrinth: baby brother gets stolen by creatures and older sister needs to go on an adventure to save him. While I enjoyed the overall story of Wildwood, I only gave it three stars on Goodreads for a couple of reasons.
First, I thought the first few chapters were a little strange. The first few pages were interesting, but the way Prue handled her brother being taken away by the crows did not sit right with me. Instead of going right after him, she decides to wait until the next day because it was getting dark out. Although I understand her wanting more light to see by since she’s never gone in these woods before, I feel like the gravity of the situation should bring her to want to go in right away. Then when she gets home she manages to trick her parents into not seeing their one year old son, saying that he already ate and that he’s tired and she would put him to bed. And it worked. But as I read on, the story became more solid and I was able to enjoy the characters and plot more.
Then there is at least one unresolved subplot that stuck out to me: Prue and Curtis are said to be half-breeds of the wood, which would be the reason why they were able to get into the wood to begin with, but it’s never fully explained why or how they are that way. To me, the short explanation given was weak and seemed to be just a way for the author to quickly wrap that part of the plot up without making the book any longer than it already was. Maybe it is explained more in the next part of the series, but I do not know for certain since I do not know if the next part continues to focus on Prue and Curtis (although it would be cool if it did).
However, I liked the art a lot. I enjoyed that there were several pages with colored pictures of what was going on in the story. I feel that those drawings really added something to the book and are fun to have for kids who may still enjoy picture books, but want something that is written more at their grade level. The book also had a lot of larger words that readers don’t usually find in a grade school book, which, although distracting at times, was pretty cool because it’ll help kids with their vocabulary in learning new words.
So, overall, I think Wildwood is a great book for grade school kids. It’s full of adventure and is a little mysterious while having enjoyable characters and beautiful art work to help tie it all together.