Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Review in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

I recently found out that INTO THE WILD received a nice review in The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (try saying that 10 times fast!), another one of the big trade journals that publishes book reviews. Here are links to html and pdf versions of the review, and the full text is copied below, minus a spoiler that I removed.

From the July/August 2007 issue:

"Twelve-year-old Julie has a "tangled mass of green," known as the Wild, living under her bed, which is somehow connected to her mother's secret past. In fact, the Wild encompasses the pure essence of all fairy tales, and it daily makes attempts to return the world to a time when plot, scenery, and characters were all laid out along strictly traditional lines. Julie's mother, Rapunzel (aka Zel), faced off against the Wild centuries earlier, risking and ultimately losing Julie's father in a battle that eventually forced the grasping thing into its present shape. Unfortunately, it only takes a wish to set the force free, and someone gets past the three bears guarding the Wishing Well and gives the Wild the fuel to begin its conquest of present day Northboro, Massachusetts, and the world. Julie's mother, grandmother, and a whole lot of civilians are sucked back into the Woods, and Julie follows them in an effort to turn Tradition upon itself and free princesses, heroes, and witches from a fate worse than the end of a story. The author takes readers on a grand adventure involving candy houses and ogres, providing plenty of opportunities to watch for favorite fairy-tale characters and chances to spy traditional story traps before Julie becomes caught up in them. Durst has her tongue firmly in cheek when it comes to occupations (Rapunzel owns a hair salon), adopted names (Mary Hadda--accompanied by her lamb), and even the source of the wish that sets new fairy tales in motion. Young readers may not catch all the allusions and humor, but Julie's imaginative quest and the presence of some mainstream names (Cinderella, Snow White) will be enough to keep their attention and, perhaps, send them back to the shelves in search of additional stories, or those they may have forgotten they knew and loved once upon a time." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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