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Over the Woodward Wall

by A Deborah Baker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Up and Under (1)

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1395153,339 (3.79)1 / 7
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» See also 7 mentions

English (4)  Dutch (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
This book was interesting. I mean it was good. I enjoyed it, but I admit I was a bit disappointed. This book didn't feel that out of place with her Wayward Children series. With just a small bit of tweaking, it could have fit right in. As it is it reminds me of a cross between Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz. For a book aimed at children, it is a pretty good one. I'd recommend to children of the intended age group. I give it a 3.5 stars rounded up. ( )
  starslight86 | Jul 20, 2021 |
Mira Grant writes great horror stories. Seanan McGuire writes excellent fantasy. A. Deborah Baker writes excellent YA fantasy.

Not all YA stories work for older readers. This does. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
A. Deborah Baker is a pen a name for Seanan Mcguire - I'm bringing this up because I'll be make comparisons to her other works in this review.

First, its a really well written modern fairy tale - two kids end up in a fantasy world together and need to depend on each other to survive. Its a fairly standard nonsensical world. There are people who help, people who hinder, and people who harm, and they aren't always known.

My biggest issue with this book is it doesn't really cover any new ground. Ms. Mcguire writes the same stories over and over again. Its in a well written package with a beautiful setting - but its always a few kids whose world needs expanding, and they end up in a world fantasy world where they need to work together and ultimately they will succeed. There will be growth and understanding. Its all predictable (but only if you are familiar with the author)

And last, this isn't a standalone story. Which is a bit annoying, since I was hoping for a nice conclusion.

So, to sum up - it really is a well written book. But fairly derivative if you are familiar with the author. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Nov 28, 2020 |
Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker is the book featured/quoted in Middlegame by Seanan McGuire, written by McGuire so that she could more easily refer to it. You absolutely do not have to have read Middlegame to read this book and, if anything, reading Over the Woodward Wall might add to your experience of reading Middlegame (but I did read them in the other order). Also, completely unlike Middlegame, Over the Woodward Wall is a children's/middle grade/pre-YA book, where as Middlegame is an adult book.

This book is definitely not similar to Middlegame, it merely exists in the universe of that book. I cannot stress this enough. If you are looking for a similar companion novel to Middlegame, then you will be disappointed. If you are looking for a portal fantasy book featuring children from a non-specified time period finding themselves in a slightly nonsensical magical world, then this is the book for you.

I liked Over the Woodward Wall. There were a lot of interesting side characters, who added to the story. There were also some creepy villain characters that the children had to contend with. There were a variety of small lessons for children to learn over the course of their adventure, which were not heavy-handed. One thing that I was not expecting is that this ended as the start of a series. This might have been mentioned in Middlegame, but for whatever reason I had been expecting a standalone story, so that's something to keep in mind if you prefer tidy endings.

Overall, this was an interesting portal fantasy for children, especially if you hold it up against the ideas explored in Every Heart a Doorway. Over the Woodward Wall is absolutely not set in the same multiverse, and has its own unique voice more suited to the kind of book it is trying to be — one that is not juxtaposed against other ideas of portal fantasy. (That said, it put me in mind of The Wizard of Oz, but that's mainly because both are portal fantasies with a road for the protagonists to follow.) I recommend this book to readers, both old and young, who find appealing the idea of two very different children thrust into a magical world together.

4 / 5 stars

You can read more of my reviews on my blog. ( )
2 vote Tsana | Oct 24, 2020 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
A Deborah Bakerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Curtis, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foltzer, ChristineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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They live on the same street.
They live in different worlds
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This book is for my cuckoos yet to come. I hope I see you fly.
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In the same ordinary town, on the same ordinary street, lived two very different, very ordinary children who had never quite managed to cross paths with one another.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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