29 January 2009

Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst

Those who consider themselves to be “mature” readers might roll their eyes a bit when they first encounter Julie’s world, but they will soon be sucked into The Wild with the rest of us despite themselves! On first impression, readers know that Julie isn’t an average girl, but she tries hard to fit in at school and with her friends; only her best friend Gillian knows the truth: that The Wild, the heart of the fairy tale world, lives under her bed. Julie’s mom Zel, her grandmother, her brother Boots, and Zel’s friends Cindy and Goldie were able to escape The Wild over 500 years ago, and The Wild can only regain power if a wish is made at the Wishing Well, which Grandma guards herself. When the worst happens – because, of course, the worst does happen – Zel and all of the other characters get sucked back into their fairy tale worlds, and it is up to Julie to be the hero. Through twists and turns, endless seas, ogres, and magicians, Julie discovers and that the fairy tale world isn’t so happily-ever-after. But along the way, she also discovers some secrets, makes some friends, finds her heart’s desire, and learns what it truly means to be a hero.

This is definitely a story that would appeal most to girl readers in middle school and older. Even if you think that the fairy tale stuff just isn’t for you, you might still find yourself rooting for Julie as she struggles on her journey to reunite her family and find her way home. Chances are you won’t be able to help yourself from reading the sequel, too, Out of the Wild
. For another adventure with fairy tale twists, try Michael Buckley's The Sisters Grimm series (Book 1: The Fairy-Tale Detectives was the 2008 Middle Grade One Book New Jersey selection).

Recommended for middle grade readers.
Call number: YA DURST (Teen Room) & J FIC DURST (Children's Room)

Reviewd by kate the librarian

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