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Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I by…
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Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis (Illustrator)

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1,016818,374 (3.58)39
Member:bloedoere
Title:Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I
Authors:Colin Meloy
Other authors:Carson Ellis (Illustrator)
Info:Balzer Bray (2011), Hardcover, 560 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:eventyr

Work details

Wildwood by Colin Meloy (Author) (2011)

  1. 30
    The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (cdcottam1)
    cdcottam1: Both works are beautifully mystical and fantastical! Wildwood has many of the fantastical themes of Narnia without the blatantly religious undertones while still containing good moral lessons.
  2. 20
    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (Mav.Weirdo)
  3. 10
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman (DieFledermaus)
  4. 10
    The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman (derelicious)
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» See also 39 mentions

English (80)  German (1)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
Mythic to a large degree this is an interesting read. Prue goes after her brother who has been kidnapped by crows into the Wildwood where no-one goes in Portland, but she finds that she can go, and her friend Curtis comes with her, they both find that everything is not as they assumed and that things will never be as they were before.

The illustrations added to the enjoyment. And while I enjoyed it I'm not sure where it's supposed to go, it's a bit long for a kid's book and a little childish for an adult. Still I'm looking forward to the next one ( )
  wyvernfriend | May 12, 2016 |
Read for Fantasy Selection - I liked this book once I got about halfway through. I was never bored of the story, but it felt kind of slow at first. A lot of people were raving to me about how they loved this story and its sequels, but I didn't really get why until the end. I still don't know if I will continue with the series, but I did think it was a cute read and I loved that it was a locally inspired story.
  SavannahRussell | Mar 12, 2016 |
Read for Fantasy Selection ( )
  AlinaA | Mar 9, 2016 |
This book is a great book to work on looking at things from different points of view. The story is told from a couple of different perspectives and has some distinct groups that emerge. A great way to use the book would be to connect it to history (specifically, wartimes-- I would say civil wars are the best example). It provides an awesome avenue to discuss the complexity of issues that come up from groups from the same place who have conflicting ideals. The book also provides a rich vocabulary. This book is best for young adult readership, or slightly younger for advanced readers or as a read aloud. It offers a lot of opportunities for students to see how authors bring in "real" elements to a fantasy genre, and use those as a jumping off point. ( )
  MsSpartas | Feb 28, 2016 |
This is an interesting book given that the author is also the lead singer of the Decemberists. I think fans would have definitely bought this book. In the story, Pru and her friend Curtis set off to find Pru’s missing baby brother. They are two 7th graders on an adventure through a magical, fantasy world. This world parallels Portland, OR and the adventure takes place in the Impassable Wilderness the locals call Wildwood. Pru and Mac were “gifted” to their parents by some black magic. As a result, Mac is supposed to be the sacrifice. Pru is a precocious 12 year old who vows to bring back her brother. Alliances have to be forged and battles need to be won. Readers will look forward to the pivotal moment when the sacrifice is about to occur.

This book is 541 pages long, which is quite lengthy for a middle school book. Some of the vocabulary is better suited to high school students. Pru is very stereotypically Portland. I think that most middle school readers would not see the connection. I think those details are for YA and adult readers. There are definitely many elements of traditional folk tales in this story. The setting is Portland, OR in an alternate world. The illustrations are fun and whimsical and will appeal to readers of all ages. This story is geared to readers who like fantasy. The plot drags a little bit and the motifs are a little overplayed. I think that middle school readers may give up if this is not their favorite genre. I think it might do better in a high school/YA library based on reading level. There is nothing controversial in the story that would need a specific maturity. There are not really any curriculum tie-ins besides suggesting it to individual readers. This book has been compared to Tolkien and Narnia and I think that is accurate. This is the first book of a planned trilogy. ( )
  kmjanek | Feb 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
Folding elements of real-life Portland into the story, Meloy lovingly describes the jungles to the north and the cobbled streets and elegant tree houses of the more civilized south. The result is a richly satisfying weave of reality and fantasy.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Meloy, ColinAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellis, CarsonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Plummer, AmandaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Hank, of course
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How five crows managed to lift a twenty-pound baby boy into the air was beyond Prue, but that was certainly the least of her worries.
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"My dear Prue, we are the inheritors of a wonderful world, a beautiful world, full of life and mystery, goodness and pain. But likewise are we children of an indifferent universe. We break our own hearts imposing our moral order on what is, by nature, a wide web of chaos. it is a hopeless task."
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Book description
From The Publisher: Prue McKeel's life is ordinary. At least until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. And then things get really weird. You see, on every map of Portland, Oregon, there is a big splotch of green on the edge of the city labeled "I.W." This stands for "Impassable Wilderness." No one's ever gone in-or at least returned to tell of it. And this is where the crows take her brother. 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 bigger as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. A wilderness the locals call Wildwood. Wildwood is a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger, and magic that juxtaposes the thrill of a secret world and modern city life. Original and fresh yet steeped in classic fantasy, this is a novel that could have only come from the imagination of Colin Meloy, celebrated for his inventive and fantastic storytelling as the lead singer of the Decemberists. With dozens of intricate and beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Carson Ellis, Wildwood is truly a new classic for the twenty-first century.

AR level 6.3, 19 pts
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 006202468X, Hardcover)

Product Description
Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. And then things get really weird.

You see, on every map of Portland, Oregon, there is a big splotch of green on the edge of the city labeled “I.W.” This stands for “Impassable Wilderness.” No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it.

And this is where the crows take her brother.

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 bigger as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness.

A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.

Wildwood is a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger, and magic that juxtaposes the thrill of a secret world and modern city life. Original and fresh yet steeped in classic fantasy, this is a novel that could have only come from the imagination of Colin Meloy, celebrated for his inventive and fantastic storytelling as the lead singer of the Decemberists. With dozens of intricate and beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Carson Ellis, Wildwood is truly a new classic for the twenty-first century.

A Wildwood Playlist by Colin Meloy & Carson Ellis

"Ramble On" by Led Zeppelin

Colin Meloy: I remember reading an interview with Evan Dando from the Lemonheads right around the time the first Lord of the Rings movie came out, bemoaning the fact that the director hadn’t included a single Zeppelin song in the movie. I tend to agree; I mean, how rad would it’ve been after that dramatic ending in The Return of the King, with all its royal celebrations and slo-mo montages—the screen goes black and those monster riffs of “Immigrant Song” kick in? Mind-blowing. So much incredible music in the 60s and 70s was directly fueled by mid-century fantasy fiction, something that Wildwood owes much to; I feel it would be deeply remiss here not to include a little Zepp.

"Marching Song" by Esben and the Witch
Colin Meloy: That said, when I was deep in my preadolescent reverie of fantasy and sci-fi, my friends and I would meet every weekend at someone’s house to play Dungeons & Dragons. There. Confession made. And as everyone knows, the best Dungeon Masters always partnered up their biggest action scenarios with music. While I think it may have been de rigueur to blast Zeppelin or Hawkwind for some folks, I considered myself to be somewhat of a sophisticate. Joy Division was perfect music for a slow, suspenseful crawl through a gelatinous cube-infested grotto. The Legendary Pink Dots added an extra dimension to a party’s first encounter with some weird, reclusive nemesis in a castle tower. An Enchantress might appear to “Under Ice” by Kate Bush or anything from Siouxsie’s output. When I first heard this song from Brighton, England’s Esben and the Witch (even the name is evocative of those days) I imagined a new generation of over-imaginative ten-year-olds pairing their fantastical ramblings with the drowning rains and empty plains of this song.

"Take It Easy" by Hopeton Lewis
Colin Meloy: Switching gears, here. Rocksteady, a kind of precursor to the reggae explosion of the 70s, was a beautiful, thoughtful, random amalgam of classic R&B and traditional Jamaican rhythms. It’s clearly the kind of music that is birthed out of necessity; a bunch of poor kids in the slums of Kingston figuring out for themselves how to re-create the sounds that they were hearing over crappy radio speakers: Sam Cooke, Ben E. King, and Sam & Dave. And what came out wasn’t quite the same, but beautiful and weird and extraordinary in its own right. All this to say: I think that rocksteady music is the music of true enjoyment, the aural equivalent of a slice of bacon, and a rocksteady party was the kind of party I imagined Prue’s parents would throw to celebrate Mac and Prue’s joyful return. And I’ll bet that Prue’s dad dug deep for some Lewis sides—maybe he even had them on 45.

"Tam Lin" by Fairport Convention
Colin Meloy: My 60s Brit Folk obsession is fairly well documented, but I thought I’d be remiss if I didn’t include an old folk song in this list. This one, in particular, features a forbidding forest and an evil fairy queen and a pair of star-crossed lovers. Clocking in just north of seven minutes, it’s as immersive and complete a narrative as a song can hope to retell.

"Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri
Carson Ellis: I love Sibylle Baier’s mournful songs and I listened to them a lot when I was working on Wildwood, especially during the rainy months. Portland winters can be dreary and sometimes gloomy music is the best thing for them. This isn’t my very favorite song of hers, but I chose it because, you know, the title.

"I Lost Something in the Hills" by Sibylle Baier
Carson Ellis: The intensity and focused passion of this song makes me think of my darling Jack, along with the references to heaven and hell, a favorite theme of his.

"My Lovely Elizabeth" by S.E. Rogie
Carson Ellis: Wildwood has a lot of illustrations—85 in all—and it was hard work getting them done. Man, I love to draw but at times this project was exhausting. At times it was downright grueling. Fortunately, I have some remedies for this: taking a walk always helps, as does yoga, as does S. E. Rogie.

"Katie Cruel" by Karen Dalton
Carson Ellis: This is a spooky traditional song that dates back to the Revolutionary War. Like Wildwood’s villainess, Alexandra, Katie Cruel roams the forest and the “bogs and mire,” jilted and in exile. This is a good song to listen to while walking in Forest Park, the real woods that were the inspiration for Wildwood’s Impassable Wilderness. Or while walking in any misty, quiet forest where beards of moss hang from the gnarled branches of dead trees and there’s little sign of civilization. You can imagine that around any bend you might find the solitary hut of Katie Cruel, a little curl of smoke drifting up from its chimney and the sound of her high lonesome banjo coming from within. I also love this song’s beautiful, totally unhinged chorus:

Oh that I was where I would be,

Then I would be where I am not,

Here I am where I must be

Go where I would, I cannot.

"Over the Hills and Far Away" by Led Zeppelin
Carson Ellis: I’m a longtime Led Zeppelin fan and this song, in addition to having a fitting title, was another one I loved when I was Prue’s age. I first heard it around the time I read The Hobbit, and I thought its medieval vagabond vibe was awesome. I’m also a sucker for a song that starts with a pretty guitar part and then gets crazy. As an adult I tend to like Zeppelin’s earlier, bluesier stuff better but, as a kid, I loved the Middle Earth-ish stuff and “Over the Hills and Far Away” was my jam.

A Look Inside Wildwood
Click on the images below to open larger versions. (Art copyright © 2011 by Unadoptable Books LLC.)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:31 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When her baby brother is kidnapped by crows, seventh-grader Prue McKeel ventures into the forbidden Impassable Wilderness--a dangerous and magical forest in the middle of Portland, Oregon--and soon finds herself involved in a war among the various inhabitants.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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