Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles) Paperback – Deckle Edge, September 25, 2012
|New from||Used from|
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.)
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Meloy has an immediately recognizable verbal style and creates a fully realized fantasy world…. Ellis’s illustrations perfectly capture the original world and contribute to the feel of an instant timeless classic. Further adventures in Wildwood cannot come quickly enough. (School Library Journal (starred review))
WILDWOOD is an irresistible, atmospheric adventure - richly imagined and richly rewarding. (Trenton Lee Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of The Mysterious Benedict Society)
This book is like the wild, strange forest it describes. It is full of suspense and danger and frightening things the world has never seen, and once I stepped inside I never wanted to leave. (Lemony Snicket)
A satisfying blend of fantasy, adventure story, eco-fable and political satire with broad appeal; especially recommended for preteen boys. (Kirkus Reviews)
WILDWOOD is a beautiful object and a beautiful read. One half fairy tale, one half coming of age story, one half unrepentantly gorgeous work of art, this book is overflowing with gifts. (Jonathan Safran Foer)
Dark and whimsical, with a true and uncanny sense of otherworldliness, WILDWOOD is the heir to a great tradition of stories of wild childhood adventure. It snatched me up and carried me off into a world I didn’t want to leave. (Michael Chabon)
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The book begins with a lot of promise - a child is taken by a bunch of ominous crows to a mysterious place, just outside of town and yet unknown and forbidden to all. His older sister embarks on a rescue mission and goes after him to discover the unknown and enchanted realm of wildwood. An intriguing beginning but unfortunately, not enough time and thought was put in creating the wildwood "universe". In similar works of literature which will be depicting a fictional, fantasy world different than our own, we are mostly attracted to find out more about that world. Think the Narnia books, think middle earth, think "his dark materias" : how beautiful, complex and whole those universes are. Here, Meloy tried to create his own universe of wildwood but could not really decide on what it should be, and what are the "rules" governing this world. We have a lot of rivalry between certain groups in wildwood, but it's not very clear why. Magic keeps the wildwood as impassable and forbidden to all outsiders, but there is little evidence that any one inside wildwood is practicing magic or knows anything about it. and when we are introduces to the ONE PERSON who does wield dark magic and we think we might get to the juicy parts at last, that part is surprisingly short as if the writer is not particularly interested in it.
Another thing that really sticks out like a sore thumb, and annoyed me personally, is the hipster vibe of Prue and her family in Portland. Prue eats her cereal with rice milk, frequents quaint book stores and coffee shops at the tender age of 13, and finally - her mother knits obsessively. I don't mind hipsters but that kind of vibe so doesn't belong in the Victorian atmosphere of wildwood, nothing in it contributes anything to the story or to the character of Prue, it just reeks of an attempt to appeal to the "right kind of crowd".
I wanted to like the book, and bought it despite 1 and 2 stars reviews here, but I realise they were absolutely right.
P.S. I gave it 2 stars and not one because the illustrations are VERY beautiful
I've been reading this aloud to my 9 year old grand daughter, who is a big fan of her own collection of Audible books which I have purchased for her. The fast couple of weeks, I've been reading this delightful book to her before she falls asleep. We snuggle down in my bed and I read while she listens. Words she doesn't understand, she asks me about and she seems to enjoy, very much, my reading to her. This is something I used to do to my own children in the 1960s-70s-and 80s, when my children were younger.
Reading aloud, one grasps a true sense of this novel, the adventure of Prue and her search for her brother, Max. Their discovering of what the Wildwood really is and so on. I find this book wonderful for such a read and have to admit to reading ahead because I was caught up in the story and didn't want to stop.
The prose in writing is almost surrealistic - as a Portland, Oregon native, the referencing he streets and cities that I'm familiar with is, additionally, a nice experience. Portland isn't like New York City, where novel after novel is based in the surroundings so having little Portland drawn out and put to good use is wonderful.
I hike in Forest Park, where the Impassable Wilderness/Wildwood is located. Since I began reading, my hikes have become more interesting as I try to decide if a scene takes place here or there. Kudos to the author for imagination and for "writing what one knows".
The last time I became so drawn in to a story based in PDX was the Grimm TV series. The Chelsea Cain mysteries are also based here but I didn't enjoy the referencing quite as much as Wildwood.
The author has a wonderful imagination and being able to pen a longish novel that appeals to both a 71 year old grand mother and a 9 year old child is indicative of a real talent. Kudos and keep those stories coming!
Everyone who I introduce these books to love them. They are beautifully written, so damn funny and the illustrations are amazing.
If you want something easy to read on a weekend, were a fan of Wind in the Willows as a kid and have a wicked sense of humor, grab this!
I started to read Book 1 to my 9 year-old son and he just wasn't that interested... too young! But I can't wait to share Wildwood with him when he's ready.
Wildwood is the BEST YA series out there right now. Colin weaves a fantastical world surrounding the adorable city of Portland, though he focuses mostly on the northern side, that's FINE, but ultimately it's amazing.
You get two VERY RELATABLE characters and SEE THEIR CHARACTER growth through the lens of colin's writing. Any child will be happy to read this, any adult will find that within a few pages they can't put it down.
Seriously, I'm ashamed of some of these reviews, like have they ever read a Young Adult series before? You want to know who's not relatable? Harry. Katniss. Bella? Looking for an innocent story that doesn't focus on a generic child's puberty? Wildwood is your answer. Ignore the haters